According to a report, the Chinese Super League could be ready to reinstate the AFC quota rule, potentially reopening the floodgates for Australians playing in the lucrative CSL.
Chinese football expert Cameron Wilson (@CameronWEF) has his finger on the pulse of the Chinese Super League.
Yesterday, he tweeted that a report that suggested China was considering returning to the Asian 3+1 quota rule.
“Report emanating from South Korea claims the Chinese Super League may return to a 3+1 foreign player policy, the +1 being a slot dedicated to foreigners from Asian countries,” he wrote.
If this is true, it may be bad news for A-League clubs hoping to hold onto their top Australian talent. Though good news for agents and players' bank accounts.
Until the rule changed in early 2017, China became a lucrative and popular destination for Australians.
Many of the Australians were defenders who were admired for their work ethic and physical approach.
Each Chinese Super League team was allowed to sign four foreign players and one of those had to be from an AFC member nation - a so-called 3 + 1' rule.
Trent Sainsbury, Jimmy Holland, Matthew Spiranovic, Apo Giannou Ryan McGowan, Dario Vidosic, Michael Thwaite and Tim Cahill were just some of the Socceroos who found lucrative contracts in China pre-2017. Adrian Leijer, the one-time Victory favourite, was another.
Socceroo Massimo Luongo summed up the mood in 2017.
“Probably once a month there’s always someone trying to get me over there — an agent or someone that could probably profit from it as well but it doesn’t interest me,” he told beIN Sport at the time.