Featured Matches
Previous
Aston Villa
Newcastle United
0
0
LIVE 83'
Game Details
Chelsea
Leicester City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Arsenal
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sevilla FC
Valencia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Guingamp
Marseille
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Norwich City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Aston Villa
Newcastle United
0
0
LIVE 83'
Game Details
Chelsea
Leicester City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Crystal Palace
West Ham United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Southampton
West Bromwich Albion
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Swansea City
Burnley
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Arsenal
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Malaga
Athletic Bilbao
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Granada
Deportivo La Coruña
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sevilla FC
Valencia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Almeria
Espanyol
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Eintracht Frankfurt
SC Freiburg
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Cologne
Hamburg SV
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Hannover 96
Schalke 04
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Hertha Berlin
Werder Bremen
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
TSG Hoffenheim
FC Augsburg
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Guingamp
Marseille
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bastia
Toulouse
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lille
Lorient
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Montpellier
Metz
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nice
Bordeaux
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade de Reims
Caen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Norwich City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Blackburn Rovers
AFC Bournemouth
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Birmingham City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Brighton & Hove Albion
Bolton Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
Fulham
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Huddersfield Town
Charlton Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Middlesbrough
Sheffield Wednesday
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Millwall
Rotherham United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nottingham Forest
Reading
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Watford
Leeds United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Blackpool
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Cardiff City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnsley
Gillingham
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bradford City
Peterborough United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colchester United
Doncaster Rovers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Chesterfield
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Walsall
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Coventry City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Notts County
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Oldham Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rochdale
Bristol City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Crawley Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Crewe Alexandra
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Scunthorpe United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Accrington Stanley
Luton Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Hartlepool United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Plymouth Argyle
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Morecambe
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Carlisle United
Southend United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dagenham & Redbridge
Mansfield Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exeter City
York City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Burton Albion
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Shrewsbury Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Portsmouth
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Cheltenham Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Wrexham
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
AFC Telford United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Halifax
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dartford
Torquay United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dover
Eastleigh
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Gateshead
Grimsby Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Braintree Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Kidderminster Harriers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nuneaton Town
Barnet
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Southport
Altrincham
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Woking
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Celtic
1
0
FT
Game Details
Dundee United
Ross County
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Kilmarnock
Motherwell
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Partick Thistle
Hamilton Academical
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
St Johnstone
Aberdeen
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
St Mirren
Dundee
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Edinburgh Univ
Hurlford Utd
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Hawick Royal Albert
Newton Stewart
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cowdenbeath
Alloa Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Hibernian
Falkirk
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Queen of the South
Livingston
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Raith Rovers
Heart of Midlothian
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rangers
Dumbarton
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ayr United
Forfar Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dunfermline Athletic
Airdrie United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Peterhead
Greenock Morton
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stenhousemuir
Stirling Albion
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stranraer
Brechin City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Albion Rovers
East Fife
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Berwick Rangers
East Stirlingshire
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Elgin City
Clyde
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Montrose
Annan Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Arbroath
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Osasuna
Barcelona B
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Valladolid
Mallorca
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Real Zaragoza
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Las Palmas
Llagostera
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Numancia
Sporting Gijon
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atalanta
Pisa
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Varese
Virtus Entella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Palermo
Modena
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Perugia
Spezia
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bari
US Avellino
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cagliari
Catania
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Karlsruhe
0
2
FT
Game Details
Nurnberg
FSV Frankfurt
0
1
FT
Game Details
Dijon FCO
AJ Auxerre
1
0
LIVE 67'
Game Details
Willem II Tilburg
AZ Alkmaar
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Heerenveen
Excelsior
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Dordrecht '90
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Maritimo
Academica de Coimbra
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Paços de Ferreira
FC Porto
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Lisbon
Arouca
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Ufa
Spartak Moscow
1
2
FT
Game Details
Zenit St Petersburg
FK Amkar Perm
2
0
LIVE 24'
Game Details
FK Rubin Kazan
CSKA Moscow
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Kerkyra
Panthrakikos
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
OFI Crete
Panetolikos
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Niki Volos
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Standard Liege
KVC Westerlo
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KV Kortrijk
KV Oostende
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lierse SK
Royal Charleroi SC
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Zulte-Waregem
Mouscron-Peruwelz
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SK Sturm Graz
Wolfsberger AC
2:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Magna Wr. Neustadt
FC Trenkwalder Admira
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Josko Ried
SV Grodig
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Salzburg
SC Rheindorf Altach
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Malmo FF
IFK Norrkoping
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Stromsgodset
Stabaek
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Valerenga
SK Brann
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ballinamallard Utd
Glentoran
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cliftonville
Glenavon
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Institute
Linfield
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portadown
Crusaders
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Warrenpoint Town
Coleraine
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Montreal Impact
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chicago Fire
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Columbus Crew
Houston Dynamo
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Chivas USA
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
DC United
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
Vancouver Whitecaps
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruz Azul
Queretaro
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Guadalajara
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Monterrey
Puebla
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Pachuca
Atlas
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Chiapas
America
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Port Talbot
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Rhyl
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newtown
Bala Town
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
New York Cosmos
Minnesota United FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Indy Eleven
Ottawa Fury FC
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Carolina RailHawks
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
San Antonio Scorpions
Atlanta Silverbacks
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Rosario Central
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Belgrano de Córdoba
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente
Vélez Sarsfield
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sarmiento de Junín
Huracán
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Santamarina
Unión de Santa Fe
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Argentinos Juniors
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
San Martín de San Juan
Instituto de Córdoba
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Necaxa
Lobos BUAP
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Zacatepec
Altamira
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
At. San Luis
Mérida
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Irapuato
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlético MG
Internacional
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Botafogo
Chapecoense AF
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Palmeiras
Coritiba FBC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Santa Cruz FC
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
Sampaio Correa-MA
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
América RN
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Bragantino
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Ceará
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
ABC
Vila Nova-GO
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Luverdense
Joinville
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de Chile
Huachipato
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ñublense
O'Higgins
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión Española
Universidad de Concepción
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Antofagasta
Municipal Iquique
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Sud América
Nacional
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Tacuarembo
Fénix
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fortaleza CE
Uniautonoma
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Aguilas Doradas
Patriotas F.C.
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Envigado
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Santa Fe
Alianza Petrolera
12:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Cienciano del Cusco
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional
3 de Febrero
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Guaraní
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Emelec
El Nacional
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
LDU Quito
Postp
Game Details
Aragua
Mineros
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo La Guaira
Estudiantes de Mérida
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Anzoategui
Deportivo Petare
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
Bolívar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Boys Warnes
Universitario de Pando
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Blooming
Universitario de Sucre
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Shimizu S-Pulse
Kashima Antlers
1
3
FT
Game Details
FC Tokyo
Urawa Red Diamonds
4
4
FT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Gamba Osaka
3
3
FT
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
Tokushima Vortis
1
2
FT
Game Details
Nagoya Grampus Eight
Kashiwa Reysol
1
1
FT
Game Details
Omiya Ardija
Sagan Tosu
1
3
FT
Game Details
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Cerezo Osaka
0
0
FT
Game Details
Vissel Kobe
Vegalta Sendai
2
1
FT
Game Details
Yokohama F. Marinos
Kawasaki Frontale
2
0
FT
Game Details
Santos
Carmelita
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de El Salvador
Santa Tecla
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aguila
CD FAS
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de San Carlos
Penarol
9:35 PM GMT
Game Details
Petapa
Coatepeque
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vida
Victoria
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Kansas City
Portland Thorns FC
ESPN2 5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Chris Atkins
Jun 6, 2014

Guangzhou Evergrande agreement latest sign of Chinese football growth

Marcello Lippi has inspired on-pitch success for Guangzhou Evergrande, who are also reaping the rewards off it.

Understanding and drawing wider meaning from anything in Chinese football remains a remarkably difficult skill to master. Indeed, even among the nation's most experienced and battle-hardened football journalists there are few who can claim to possess true behind-the-scenes insight on a regular basis. Whatever the story, there is always a deeper understanding to events that may only become clear with the benefit of hindsight.

It is this layer of opacity surrounding all dealings in China that ensures the true meaning of any news story can take months or even years to discover. China is a unique country in many ways and never more so than in the politics of how business is conducted.

Thus, the news on Thursday that online commerce giant Alibaba is set to purchase 50 percent of Guangzhou Evergrande for a fee of $193 million (1.2 billion yuan) has put the cat among the pigeons of the footballing community. The announcement came from nowhere, with the deal reportedly agreed in principle via a 15-minute phone call and wrapped up within 24 hours. Such astonishing speed of action is what makes China so unpredictable.

World Cup bids aside, there has been no bigger story in Asian football than the rise of Guangzhou Evergrande. For the best part of two decades, European clubs have been relentless in trying to unlock the potential of the football market in China and have been almost entirely unsuccessful. China was seen as a gold mine, but the expectation of easy money was a myth. So, why has Alibaba now chosen to enter the football industry in such dramatic style?

The e-commerce firm and its owner Jack Ma are two of the biggest names in Chinese business, with its Internet shopping hubs Taobao and Tmall accounting for an astonishing 70 percent of all package deliveries in the country, with sales amounting to around two percent of China's GDP. A forthcoming IPO in New York, meanwhile, is set to value the business at more than $150 billion. "We're not investing in football, we're investing in entertainment," Ma told a packed press conference on Thursday. "Alibaba's future strategies are health and entertainent."

Chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma (R) and chairman of Evergrande Xu Jiayin announce the new deal

In the short term, though, such a deal will change little for Chinese football other than the Evergrande Group and owner Xu Jiayin earning a return on their significant investment of the past four years. They will still dominate matters domestically and there is still no guarantee that their extraordinary new academy infrastructure will bear fruit. In a wider context, though, there is deep significance in the deal. That an Asian club is valued in the region of $380 million says much of what Ma and his advisors see as the potential of football in China ahead of their crucial floatation.

Evergrande are a fascinating case study of the pace in which a business can grow in the country. Since taking over a second division team valued at just $16 million four years ago, they have built a club now worth more than all but the top tier of sides in Europe. They quickly capitalised on continental success by agreeing a $17 million one-year sponsorship deal with Dongfeng Nissan, while also subsidising the club's running with a new multi-million dollar partnership with Nike. Such deals were unthinkable in Asia just a year or two ago, but Evergrande have set about making them possible.

For the best part of a decade, football had been a dirty word in China. While many stay awake into the early hours to watch their favoured European side, the local game was treated with contempt as match-fixing scandals and issues of professionalism ravaged the sport. But there are now signs of major change, with Evergrande handing back respect to Chinese club football once more. They have tapped into the fierce national pride that runs deep in the country, harnessing fans' craving for international success stories. And they are reaping the benefits.

Domestically, both Evergrande and Beijing Guoan now regularly sell more than 40,000 tickets to league games, while the AFC report that a total of 68 million viewers watched the club's AFC Champions League final on CCTV5 last year. That same game was witnessed by 56,000 spectators inside the Tianhe stadium, with tickets selling at more than four times face value in the run up to the clash (around $300 each). As the bandwagon built, their moniker of "China Evergrande" was no exaggeration with fans flocking from across the country to witness the big event.

It is clear that there is significant untapped potential within Asian football. Evergrande have only just begun to realise their sponsorship potential, while official merchandise sales are primitive and TV rights contracts are still well below their maximum value. When Ping'an Group agreed a $24 million (150 million yuan) per season deal to sponsor the Chinese Super League earlier this year it was a valuation 2.5 times higher than the previous agreement, yet it was still hailed by analysts as a smart investment. The revenue of the Chinese Super League had doubled in 2013, while Evergrande alone were making $58 million (363 million yuan) from sponsorship of their football and volleyball clubs.

Such figures are impressive, but are merely a start for the sports industry in China as Evergrande learned themselves. In November last year they launched a "high-end spring water" line as part of their diversification scheme, based around football advertising with coach Marcello Lippi as their spokesman. Within two months they had amassed $950 million (5.7 billion yuan) worth of orders and, only last month, signed a deal to enter the European market in 13 countries. It has been an unprecedented success, despite selling at four times the cost of rival Chinese brands.

“Guangzhou Evergrande have tapped into the fierce national pride that runs deep in the country, harnessing fans' craving for international success stories.”

As ever, though, nothing is certain. The Chinese economy is heavily dependent on construction and property development, yet that market is showing signs of slowing as bad debts grow. Yet, Alibaba is among a new wave of internet-based businesses currently thriving and they feel confident in the future of Evergrande as a footballing power. If the club continues to grow as a brand, so will audiences and, in turn, Asian football can only benefit.

Since the Cantonese side's success on the continental stage, for example, Tsingtao beer has become the AFC Champions League's title sponsor while other Chinese brands have followed. Meanwhile, with Manchester City investing in both Melbourne Heart and Yokohama F. Marinos, there are signs elsewhere that the potential for football's growth in Asia is beginning to be realised.

Asian football has a long way to go if it is to become a real power second only to the might of UEFA. Football in North America is also developing at a significant rate, while South America boasts talent and tradition that are the envy of all emerging nations. Yet, if football as an industry was to mature in China alone, it would significantly alter the balance of power in football. The scale of growth in China can be so quick that it becomes difficult to comprehend.

Evergrande are, for the moment, largely ploughing a lone furrow, while there are still any number of ifs, buts and maybes to overcome. Experts, though, are beginning to see a viable future in Chinese football that seemed some way off just a year or two ago.

If it is to happen, it will be led by the rise of domestic footballing powers and other clubs with significant financial backing are now looking to follow the example of those in Guangzhou. What still separates Evergrande from their rivals, though, is that the majority have been unable to translate investment into stability and success.

It remains the case that the only way the Chinese Super League will become a viable international product is through the production of better domestic talent and, while work is being done to make that a reality, it is still some way off coming to fruition. There is real determination from the very top of the government to make China a footballing power, but it will all take much time and effort.

The establishment of Asia's first superclub is a major step in the right direction, though, and with the events of the past 48 hours, Evergrande have continued to further separate themselves from all continental rivals. Continued success and growth is, for the first time, a realistic possibility and the next few years represent a critical time in football's development in China. After so many false starts, it may well be that they have finally found a path to success. As ever, though, we are left to wait for the benefit of hindsight to reveal the true fate of football in China and, indeed, the outcome of Evergrande and Alibaba's footballing adventures.