Is Gareth Bale’s move to China an FFP trick by Inter?

Gareth Bale has agreed a deal with Jiangsu Suning according to reports in China and it looks like he is set for a move to the Chinese Super League. The forward is reportedly set to earn £1M a week with his new contract but there might be a lot more behind the move.

The Welshman is going to end his nightmare at Real Madrid and leave the club. While he has done decently well at Bernabeu, Zidane is not willing to use him anymore.

The manager was keen on selling him but it looked like no club was willing to match his wages. £600,000 per week is what he reportedly earns right now and there was no way any European club was matching that, even if there was no FFP.

Now, out of nowhere, Jiangsu Suning have emerged and agreed to take him away from Real Madrid. While a fee hasn’t been disclosed, it can be assumed to be around €90-100M.

Spending so much on a player who is injury prone is a huge risk, especially because of the new 100% tax law in China. However, one thing that allows the CSL side to sign him without any fuss is the lack of FFP there.

The point that is puzzling me right now is why Gareth Bale would want to move to China when he can be playing at a European club. It can’t be just for the money. If it was just about money, he would have stayed at Real Madrid and played golf somewhere in Spain.

And it surely isn’t about playing time. If he was desperate to play regularly, he would have taken a wage cut and moved away from Bernabeu. This is something different or maybe a mixture of money, game time and status of playing for a top club.

At Jiangsu Suning, he gets the money and probably will get the game time too. But they aren’t a top side. They are 6th in the league which has 16 clubs, they have a terrible record and are 23 points behind the league leaders!

And finally, it struck me. Jiangsu Suning are owned by the Suning Appliance Group whose major shareholder is Zhang Jindong – the owner of Inter Milan (via his company Suning Holdings Group).

While rules forbid players to be loaned out between clubs owned by the same person/company, Inter and Jiangsu Suning do not have that headache. On official records, Suning Holdings Group are the owners of Inter Milan while Suning Appliance Group is the owner of Jiangsu Suning. Despite both companies having a relation with Zhang Jindong, the club to not get categorized under ‘same owners’ in official documents.

So, this whole move of Bale joining the Chinese Super League side might just be a loophole Inter Milan have found in signing the forward. In January, don’t be surprised if the Welshman moves to San Siro ‘on loan’ for 18 months with the Italian side paying a small part of his wages.

Antonio Conte is building a strong team at San Siro and wants to challenge for the title. So, if Bale moves to them ‘on loan’, it checks all three boxes for him!

High wages – Will earn around £1M a week!
✅ Game time – Very likely to start regularly.
✅ Joining a top club – Inter want to challenge for the title this season onwards.

FFP is a good initiative but it just has way too many loopholes. Clubs have been exploiting for some time with questionable sponsors, signing players on loan before making it permanent and in this case, common owners signing them with one club to help the other.

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