Could you resist the Chinese millions?

Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017 by Venn GroupNo comments

Despite European football (The English Premier League in particular) receiving staggering viewing figures, attendances and commercial deals, the financial power of clubs in the Chinese Super League, continues to threaten to poach prized assets of some of the world’s best known clubs.

In the last few months we have seen some sensational transfers, including Shanghai Shenhua making former Manchester United & Manchester City player Carlos Tevez, the world’s highest paid player, reportedly signing a 2 year deal for a transfer fee of £71.6m and weekly wages of £615k! In doing so they convinced him to leave his boyhood club in Argentina, Boca Juniors, for a second time – despite him openly coveting a return for the last few years of his career in Europe.

Following this, local rivals Shanghai SIPG agreed a £60m deal to sign Oscar from Chelsea – a player who hasn’t always lived up to his potential in England but at 25 surely still has his best years ahead of him. Another eye-watering salary north of £350k per week was enough to tempt him to swap London for Shanghai despite the knowledge that this would potentially be at detriment to fulfilling his potential whilst sacrificing his international career with Brazil.

Tianjin Quanjian were next test the resolve of Chelsea – submitting an audacious bid for their top scorer Diego Costa. They were reportedly prepared to offer him a salary of £30m a year, which clearly gave the player something to think about. For this transfer window, Chelsea have been able to keep hold of their main forward, but it remains to be seen what his stance would be if the Chinese millions are to come knocking again next season.

If the Chinese Super Clubs are able to continue to invest heavily in the world’s best players, the profile and standard of the league will rapidly grow, increasing the appeal for more to follow suit. Some have been able to resist, citing personal and professional reasons. Already on salaries that most of the UK workforce could only dream of, perhaps it is an easier decision to turn down the prospect of earning an extra hundred thousand a week, or two!

Applying a similar concept to the UK contracting market, I would like to ask the question – should money always be our biggest driver to change roles?  Of course it is a huge factor, however it is hard to quantify other key decision making criteria, including; loyalty, career progression, personal circumstances and work-life balance, to name a few.

With incoming changes to IR35 further affecting the public sector contract market, could professional interims be forgiven for leaving existing contracts for the highest salary on offer? Could successful delivery of a project or an assignment – for example realising significant savings at an NHS Trust in special measures and contributing to turnaround, deliver value to the client whilst enhancing the workers reputation, job satisfaction and ultimately earning potential beyond that?

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