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Arsenal to build 50 football academies in China after football reform

By Yutang Sports 20 Mar 2015

The official reform and development plan for Chinese football has set a right direction for Chinese football, and also provides unprecedented opportunities for European clubs like Arsenal to develop the Chinese market. Arsenal will do more cooperation with Chinese football in the future, and offer all possible help for the sport’s growth, which is the view of Gu Tong, commercial director of Arsenal Asia, of the document. 

Mr Gu expressed the above thoughts when he was interviewed by Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday (March 18). He said that after the publishing of the official document, Arsenal plans to work with Chinese football in the following three areas.

First, the club plans to build around 50 football academies in China over the next few years, starting from next season, to teach children aged between 5 and 15 to play football. These academies are non-profit, and would try to cover major tier one and tier two cities. The club will provide teaching materials and will have veteran coaches to train Chinese coaches. 

The main aim of the academies is to grow grass-root football and to develop children’s interests in football. He believes that there will be talented players in the future as long as the children have opportunities, given the large population base of China. 

Second, the club would introduce mature managing ideas to Chinese Football Association and Chinese Super League clubs. These include youth training system, agent system, managing methods, and even fitness and nutrition staffs. 

Finally, they will have more exchanges of players with Chinese clubs, to help train Chinese players in various levels of its youth training system.

He said that Arsenal has hoped to buy Chinese players for years, but almost no players in China have qualified for the standards. The conditions are worse than before. He hopes that CSL would have International clubs like Arsenal in the future. 

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