Ah yes, that elusive Asian football market. Dominated by Manchester United for so long and seen as a primary profit center, now and even more so in the future, for many Premiership clubs.
Chelsea look to capitalise on the allegiance-flexible region by announcing plans for a Chinese language version of their official site to help all those new Chelsea supporters keep up to date on the latest Blues News (yes, that was deliberate).
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said on Tuesday: “China is a key market for us but our philosophy is to help Chinese football, as well as our own business, and our partnership with SINA will reflect that.”
Business affairs director Paul Smith added: “This partnership marks the next stage of Chelsea’s development in China. Clearly we are becoming more popular and this is the right time to take that to the next level.”
The back-to-back defending Premiership champions signed a deal with China’s biggest internet service, SINA.com, which has more than 40 million hits a day, to lead the project as they look to improve on their fourth-placed popularity in China after Barcelona, Real Madrid and, of course, Manchester United.
Next up, Arsenal will be launching a french version of their official site. Ha ha, get it? Because Arsenal had a lot of french players a few seasons ago. How droll.