Monday, 3 July 2017

The China Soccer Observatory (CSO)

Here at Soccer Mad Boffins, as well as writing about our own research we like to share other interestinng articles and to give a platform to other interesting research ventures.  We have recently been in contact with Prof Simon Chadwick a Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute (CPI) at University of Nottingham who runs the CHINA SOCCER OBSERVATORY (CSO) alongside Dr Jonathan Sullivan (Director of CPI).

We considered the CSO to be of interest to many of our readers and so we asked Prof Chadwick to provide a short overview as to their activities. Take it away, Simon....


Professor Simon Chadwick, yesterday

In late 2014, President Xi revealed his vision for China to have created a domestic sport economy worth $830 billion by 2028. To drive the country towards this target, Xi identified football as being a focal point for his vision, identifying that he wants China to host and win the World Cup, become a leading FIFA nation by 2050.

Comparison of BRIC nations' FIFA rankings in 2014 (circa most recent World Cup)

Since then we have seen a multitude of different investments in football being made by Chinese private-sector organisations and provincial government bodies. These have ranged from the creation of grassroots football projects through to the acquisition of football clubs to the signing of big-name overseas players by clubs in the Chinese Super League (the 'CSL').

These activities have each been intended to improve the available pool of Chinese talent, to build the competences of leaders and managers working in football, to raise the profile and enhance the presence of Chinese football, and to generate a financial return for the burgeoning Chinese sports industry.

Football, sport and business in China are always highly politicised, whilst its vision for football also incorporates elements of soft power projection, diplomatic influence, nation branding, the promotion of domestic social cohesion and the control of its health problems.

Beijing National Stadium - the 'birds nest', built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and visited by Soccer Mad Boffin Dr Kevin Tennent in 2014!

The multi-disciplinary nature of China’s football revolution, allied to the scale and speed with which it has taken place, led Dr Jon Sullivan and I to create the China Soccer Observatory (CSO). The CSO is located within the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, and has been set up to monitor, analyse, and publish insights into the growth and development of Chinese football domestically and internationally.

The CSO is seeking to ensure that relevant stakeholders are aware of and informed about the most important issues pertaining to football and China. We place great emphasis on the academic rigour of our work, but also on its practical application in addressing real-world issues and challenges. The CSO's work focuses knowledge creation and thought-leadership, academic research and publication, intelligence gathering and consultancy, and policy advisory services.

Details of the CSO can be found here: A related archive of materials pertaining to Chinese football can be accessed here

Prof Simon Chadwick

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