Chinese billions set to flow into Slavia Prague

Soccer club Slavia Prague announces an arrival of wealthy investors. Chinese CEFC along with other partners and their billions are hoping to bring titles and glory back to the club.

Photo courtesy of Slavia Prague

Photo courtesy of Slavia Prague

One of the most famous and the most successful Czech football clubs suffered from massive financial problems that led to a significant performance drop out in recent years. Slavia Prague’s fans are now hoping this is coming to an end, thanks to Chinese investment, financial, and energetic group CEFC (China Energy Company Limited) who have bought 60% of the club. The remaining 40% were taken over by Jiří Šimáně, co-owner of the Travel Service, Czech largest charter airline.

Together they are planning to bring the club back to the top positions of Synot liga and into European competitions. This information was confirmed by the president of CEFC stating “We want to return the club to where it rightfully belongs”. Asking the fans for patience, Šimáně proclaimed that this process can last a few years.

And even more finances will be pumped into the club thanks to Austrian financial company Lyoness, Czech gambling company Fortuna, American Cuoni group who along with CEFC became the club’s general sponsors.

Knowing this will not be an easy task due to low quality in the squad the club’s board has already begun attracting reinforcements into the red-and-whites team. The most significant and very emotive transfer so far is the arrival of Czech 9-times-capped international Josef Hušbauer from the club’s major rival Sparta Prague. They have recently also signed U21 talents Antonín Barák and Zdeněk Linhart. The club is showing interest in Josef Šural, the powerful striker who humiliated Netherlands defence in an EURO 2016 qualifier 3:2 thriller in October 2015.

CEFC, one of the largest companies in China with an estimated revenue of 35 billion USD, has invested their money in the Czech Republic already before. They bought a Renaissance Palace at the Prague Castle, Lobkowicz brewery or a beautiful building formerly belonging to a commercial bank in UniCredit Group. They are planning to use this protected landmark not far from Wenceslas Square as their European headquarters. In December 2014, CEFC president Čchan Čchao-tuo has met Miloš Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic.