Sports moments of the week: Nov 17-23

Updated: 2014-11-24 10:56


  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Kick the ball online

Sports moments of the week: Nov 17-23

It seems that Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma is not the only Internet magnet interested in soccer.

Liu Qiangdong, founder of the Nasdaq-listed e-commerce platform JD,com, has been linked to Hangzhou Greentown FC after meeting with Greentown China president Song Weiping.

Greentown China is a property company and a major investor of the Hangzhou Greentown football club.

Sources said the duo discussed the possibility of Liu pouring part of his Internet wealth into the Chinese Super League club during the four-hour meeting, suggesting Liu is ready to extend his online rivalry with Jack Ma to offline.

Ma was once close to Greentown FC, but he ended up buying half ownership of Guangzhou Evergrande, another property company-backed club in June.

The trend of Internet companies pairing up with football clubs rose at a time when more and more Chinese soccer clubs chose to copy Evergrande's big-spending model. Evergande has signed expensive foreign players and World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi.

The model has worked well so far as the four-time domestic league champions became the first Chinese side to win an Asian Champions League title in 2013.

Shanghai East Asia FC recently appointed former England coach Sven-Goran Ericsson as head coach and reportedly promised an $82 million budget for snatching talents.

For the increasingly money-motivated soccer sector, there seems to be no patron more eligible than Internet-related industries which have lifted both Ma and Liu to the 2014 Forbes China Rich list.