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Saints Heading To China
Tuesday, 24th Apr 2018 10:03

Saints FA Cup hopes may have gone West on Sunday, but the team are heading East on a summer tour of China.

Saints are reportably heading to the homeland of new majority shareholder Gao Jisheng according to information revealed at the Soccerex Convention in China.

Provisional plans are in place will see Saints taking on a Chinese Super League team and a German Bundesliga side as part of their pre season preparations in July

Gao’s company, Lander Sports, is looking to build up to ten soccer academies across China, using the expertise at Saints to assist. All of this is part of a strategy to raise the profile of the club in China, and in turn aid Lander’s businesses.

This perhaps gives an indication of why Gao was keen to buy Saints and perhaps gives Saints fans hope that if he is to prosper with these academies in China then he will need Saints to prosper in England.

The Daily Echo have reported on the story and question whether the plans may alter should Saints be relegated, but they are of the opinion that they will not especially given that Gao and his company Lander Sports have been ramping up their PR campaign in China in regards to their ownership and plans for Saints.

Saints fans on social media have questioned Gao's motives in investing in the club, some have suggested that he is here merely to asset strip and take out as much money as he can, that theory was diluted back in January when £20 million was spent on Guido Carrillo, that suggested that if Gao was trying to asset strip then he hasn't quite grasped the concept by giving money to the club for transfers.

It would be naive though to think that he is in it purely for sporting reasons, he is of course a businessman, he has not come to lose money, but then again neither had Markus Liebherr, his plan was always for the club to be self supporting.

These latest plans suggest that Gao although in it for profit, is looking to make that profit from interests not only in China but by using Saints as part of those plans.

There are no guarantees here, but at least this morning we have some sort of idea where Gao's intentions seem to lie, prior to this everything seemed to be pure speculation, those who claimed that Gao was here purely to asset strip had no concrete evidence of that at all and the lack of news from China fuelled that.

This is still a long way from Gao making a definitive statement about his plans for the club, but it does suggest that with things going on in the background, he is not really in a position to say too much before he has those plans in place.

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Whiteknight added 10:18 - Apr 24
I care not one bit about having "fans" in China or the US or anywhere else.

It is clear that having a two year take over has been massively de-stabalising for the club and I don't think that going on a tour of China will help in any way shape or form.

It has been stated that Gao has done nothing wrong so far - what has Gao done right? In fact, what has Gao done at all? Actions speak louder than words.

jerseysaint added 10:21 - Apr 24
whatever happens in the league the side needs to be properly invested in to stay in the premier league or get back up at first time of asking.
I do think we have the right manager in place if the money is spent.

SanMarco added 10:43 - Apr 24
Where we go in the summer seems irrelevant to me. The big question is will we be a Newcastle or a Sunderland? Even with their pathetic excuse of an owner Newcastle got back at the first attempt. We need to get rid of the dead wood and show ponies and use the remaining core, strengthened by the proper type of player, to get back first time. I imagine that's what Gao will want. A 'PR campaign' in China featuring matches versus Manure will be a lot easier than the second division alternatives...

helpineedsomebody added 11:42 - Apr 24
no investment since 1885
will we ever get a good custodion for this HUGE CLUB
im keeping my legs crossed that the new owner who is a very succesful business man will finaly speculate to accumulate thats how football clubs operate not run like tubby who good not afford the club & has never run a business in her life but has brilliant uncles to guide her.

helpineedsomebody added 11:43 - Apr 24
sorry could

SaintBrock added 11:54 - Apr 24
Don't tell me we are entering the Chinese Super League next year? That'll put a damper on the away support.

SaintBrock added 11:58 - Apr 24
helpineedsomebody, I haven't a clue what your post is about, please try again.

LordDZLucan added 12:05 - Apr 24
SaintBrock, I had the same problem with one of his posts yesterday!

LordDZLucan added 12:06 - Apr 24
Going on a pre season tour of China is a non starter given the early start to the Championship!

helpineedsomebody added 12:45 - Apr 24
who has stayed at this club long term 20/30 years & reilly invested & built on it nobody
every body seems to get very well paid then vanish.

why cant the ground be upgraded ah the so called experts say if the ground is not full everyweek whats the point of upgrading it BE RADICAL make the tickets AFFORDABLE IN the long run you would fill it . how much would it cost not £40 million pounds that the training ground has surposedly cost.

i hope that the new owner will employ people who will get results like cortes & give us the fans some hope .
in the last 3 years since tubby took control SFC in my opinion is being run like the last hundred years NO MONEY NO HONEY if you cant afford something why buy it then run it on a shoestring.
the club should be big enough now not to be a yo yo club as roops said we have no money. i hope ive made my comment so you understand where im coming from


saintmark1976 added 13:24 - Apr 24
Is this guy for real?

We are four points adrift of safety with four games to play, odds on to be relegated and he announces that in the close season he intends to drag the players half way round the world to further his business interests.

Very similar to most of the club's decisions during the last two seasons you just can't make it up anymore.

BoondockSaint added 14:24 - Apr 24
If he want's to "raise the profile of the club", attract more fans worldwide, sell more shirts, attract big rich sponsors,bring in more revenue, etc., he needs to have the team in the Premier League. Playing in China or other big markets is nice, but potential new fans are not going to show up at school wearing the logo of a crap team.

If he wants his proposed academies to attract talent, he needs them to represent a winning team otherwise they will go elsewhere. Just like young talent on the South coast will be heading for Bournemouth's academy if we get relegated by them-but that's a rant for later in the week....

SanMarco added 16:01 - Apr 24
We can't be relegated by Bournemouth Boondock - that unhappy event will instead happen at Goodison or Swansea. And if by some curious circumstance we win a game it may even be dear old Pep who swings the axe. I remember 1974 when we went down at Goodison - even though we won 3-0....

BoondockSaint added 17:02 - Apr 24
Hey San Marco

Yeah, I know mathematically that is the case. (in spite of my limited skills in that area).

I just worry that they will be very motivated to stamp on our fingers as we cling on to the cliff. They have everything to gain as far as marketing, growing their fan base, attracting talent, etc. if they can help us get sent down. This will be a great time to make their move
to be the South coast Premier League team. It's like their board has a five year plan or something......

1970 added 17:28 - Apr 24
The hierarchy at our beloved are so out of touch with the fans and what this football club means to the city and the people they are a disgrace, for a start will the owner be travelling alone to china because we wont have a team left to take, these people are so deluded it makes my blood boil, I still cant believe this totally incompetent board and management have somehow spent more money on transfers than the whole of the championship put together but still find themselves absolutely no better grrrr we better win on Saturday coyr

underweststand added 19:20 - Apr 24
Before people start blaming Mr.Gao for " a lack of investment", let remember that;

1) He took control at a time when the transfer window discounted buying new players , and the heirarchy was still convinced that we would pull ourselves out of the mire .. and
those disapponting start games we saw from Carrillo may not have been the answer we were all anticipating. Who knows he may end up being our top scorer next season?.

2) our ability to buy new players is not governed by Mr.Gao's millions /or is it billions ?
but that those "crooked " FFP rules laid down by UEFA favour only the "big clubs" with huge incomes and that transfer sales (e.g. VvD ) do not count as "income ".

A closer look at the small print would show that no matter how much Gao puts into the club we are still restricted by the limitation of a salary ceiling based on our earnings -not the wealth of the owner.

A potential trip to China may be the source of " big income" - even if it is only selling a few hundred thou shirts - and the prospect of seeing advertising hoardings around SMS in Chinese may bring in more than anyone expects.


zonehead added 23:17 - Apr 24
Chaiman Gao “come Ms Liebher what went wrong”
“kato Kato send in Reed and Krueger”

SanMarco added 10:40 - Apr 25
underweststand: Doed not the 'wealth of the owner' count as 'earnings if it is aactually given to the club. How else would all the oil despots and ex-KGB oligarchs get their teams to the top?

BoondockSaint added 15:53 - Apr 25
underweststand is correct: the FFP is just a public relations stunt to pretend that there is a level playing field. It's supposed to stop teams going into debt, but in reality it helps cement the rich teams into place making it practically impossible for others to challenge them. Potential sugar daddy owners can't just pump their own money directly into the club. They have to launder it through another company that they own. Like ManCity with Etihad Airlines and PSG with the Qatar Tourist Board.

I guess we can't complain as we were all hoping that the Liebherr family would pump loads of money into the club under the premise of a huge kit sponsorship deal!

underweststand added 16:15 - Apr 25
Thank you Boondock Saint. You underlined my point , in that unless we can pull in 350-100 million in sponsorship money there is no way we would be " allowed" to give higher salaries than we do at Present.
Whatever rumour I read suggested that "our highest paid player" gets around £60K /week, and so when the Liverpool's and Man Utd's seem to start transfer discussions at £100K ..the outcome is obvious...aside from the fact that most ambitious/international players want to play in CL , or at very least Euro League..we don't stand a chance of keeping them, or signing anyone else for a BIG fee.

THINK ABOUT time we break the club transfer record (IN)'ll be £20 million + an agent's fee (say £1-2 million) and at £60 K /wk contract for 4 years...another £12 mill.
plus taxes , VAT etc... we've just committed about £35 million on one player , who may / may not become a game changer... (a tough call that one) .

For my part ..I'd rather go and buy a couple of "new type" Rickie Lambert's from L1 , and see how that works out in the short term.

underweststand added 16:32 - Apr 25
CORRECTION : amount quoted above in line 2 should read: £50 -100 million.
FFP have created a monopoly situation for the rich clubs that will be hard to break into.

Also Boondock makes the point about the Liebherr's pumping in money, but the club wasn't just in debt, but bankrupt in 2009 and aside from buying the club for £14 million was it? we still had to balance our books which was a task that NIcola Cortese achieved by borrowing to fund his ridiculous "foreign transfers " few who actually worked out.

The commitment to build out Staplewood was initally quoted at around £40 million and (apparantly ) the final stages ; facilities for Academy players etc, was quoted at another £20 m. This has to be paid for too.

Having already commited £200 million in buying the club, I'm sure Mr.Gao will want to secure his investment and do the most he can (legally) do to improve things .
Meanwhile our best players will continue to be "cherry-picked " by the bigger clubs.
The proposed China trip may help to cement better relations and let Mr.Gao show off his club to his countrymen . Anyone looking up prices for Air China holiday trips?


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