Drogba China signing boosts crowds

first_img0Shares0000SHANGHAI, China, September 21 – Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua are reaping the rewards after signing former Chelsea star Didier Drogba — with crowds at home games up 30 percent even as questions swirl over his future.The Ivory Coast striker joined the club in mid-July, just weeks after scoring the winning goal in the European Champions League final, for a reported $300,000-plus a week, making him the highest-paid player in China. Attendances have swelled to around 20,000 people for home games when he plays from 15,000 previously, the Oriental Morning Post said, quoting a club official.The player — dubbed “Devil Beast” by fans — started for Shenhua last week and scored their final goal in a 3-0 win.But despite his impact, a boardroom dispute could still see the departure of the club’s foreign players, whose contingent also includes former France international Nicolas Anelka.Chief investor Zhu Jun, a flamboyant online gaming tycoon, has reportedly threatened to withhold the foreign players’ salaries he is bankrolling unless he is granted majority control.Speaking at a fan event on Thursday, Drogba spoke of “difficulties” faced by the club but gave no details.“Although we are now facing some difficulties, we will become stronger,” Drogba said, according to a transcript posted on government-backed media website Online Shanghai.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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