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Former Mariners boss McKinna: China will match it with Japan, Korea

Chengdu Blades manager Lawrie McKinna believes Chinese football is headed in the right direction. The Scottish tactician took the job at the Chinese Super League club in March this year and is already experiencing how the Asian nation is looking to push into the top echelon in its region.

McKinna, the former Central Coast Mariners boss, said that things are looking up in China whilst outlining just how much money is creeping into the sport.

"Our training base has 72 four-star accommodation rooms, numerous offices and boardrooms, six training pitches, a huge gym, sauna, spa and everything else you can think of,'' he said.

''China is setting itself to match Japan and Korea, but in future years they can match it with the biggest clubs in the world.

''Last week our owner sold eight first-team players. He also made the team catch a 15-hour train trip just to make a point to the government that his wealth isn't what they think it is,'' McKinna added.

''But if we escape relegation [Chengdu are three points clear], we're in line for a three-million renminbi [$430,000] bonus to be shared among players and coaches, and we collectively get a RMB600,000 bonus each time we win."

But in comparison, his side gets nothing like CSL rivals Guangzhou Evergrande.

"Yet at Guangzhou, I hear they pay five-million renminbi bonus for a win and a two-million renminbi bonus for a draw. But if they lose, they get fined two-million renminbi. They haven't lost a game yet," he added further.

The situation bodes well for Chinese football to really push on and become one of the powerhouses in Asia before potentially taking on the world.

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