Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | International

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka © Action Images

Drogba, Anelka future at Shanghai in doubt



The China careers of former Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka are in doubt amid reports of unpaid wages at the end of a tumultuous year at Shanghai Shenhua.

Local media have reported Frenchman Anelka's management is in talks with the Chinese Super League club to forgo the final year of his contract, while Ivory Coast striker Drogba has been linked with a move back to Europe.

Drogba signed a two-and-a-half year deal reportedly worth around $300 000 per week in June, but the Shanghai-based Oriental Sports Daily said last week the 34-year-old was owed wages in the wake of a long-running equity row at the club.

Drogba applied for permission last month to leave Shanghai on loan before the January transfer window, but Fifa refused the request.

He has since returned to Chelsea to train at his former club in a bid to stay sharp for the African Nations Cup, which starts on January 19, fuelling speculation of a return to Europe.

A Shenhua spokesman confirmed to Reuters that Anelka was in talks with the club regarding his playing future, but declined to comment on whether Drogba had confirmed he would return to Shanghai after playing the African Nations Cup.

"They are still contracted players, and nothing has changed in that regard," he told Reuters by telephone on Tuesday.

The loss of the two high-profile forwards would come as a huge blow to the club and the Chinese Super League, which had trumpeted their arrivals as a sign of faith in the competition after years of being mired in corruption scandals.

Despite the fanfare, Shanghai's hopes of a run to the title on the back of their prized recruits crumbled during a wayward season blighted by in-fighting.

Shanghai started the year favourites to win the 2012 premiership, thanks to a massive cash injection from their colourful owner Zhu June

The online gaming tycoon secured former Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea striker Anelka's signature a year ago, and further raised expectations by appointing former Fulham manager Jean Tigana as head coach.

PLAYER REVOLT

Shanghai's season started to unravel when Tigana was hit by a player revolt after just five games in charge.

After Tigana's entire backroom staff were fired, the Frenchman himself was sacked shortly after arriving at the stadium for Shanghai's match against Tianjin Teda.

Tigana left the stadium before kick-off, and Shanghai were left to play out a 1-0 loss to Tianjin with a virtually empty home bench.

Tigana's replacement raised further eyebrows, with Anelka, no stranger to clashes with authority, sensationally named player-coach.

The unorthodox appointment did little to improve Shenhua's fortunes, though Anelka threatened to quit when he learned of plans to replace him.

"If there is still no one to support me and (they) continue to play little tricks behind my back... then I will quickly decide whether or not to retire," he told Shanghai media.

However, Anelka was placated and former Argentina coach Sergio Batista arrived in May to become the team's third head coach in 2012.

Batista steadied the ship with some solid results, and Drogba's arrival in July to a hero's welcome from hundreds of fans at Shanghai's Pudong airport, briefly raised hopes the season could be saved.

Drogba proved an instant hit, scoring two goals on his home debut in a 5-1 drubbing of local rivals Hangzhou Greentown in early August, but the club was again in crisis a few weeks later due to a festering boardroom dispute.

Owner Zhu threatened to withhold player wages, claiming other shareholders had reneged on an agreement to give him a majority stake in the club.

While Drogba lived up to his promise with eight goals in 11 appearances, Anelka largely struggled amid the hype, finding the back of the net only three times in his 22 matches.

Shanghai was the ultimate loser, the club's ninth-placed finish in the 16-team competition proving that money alone rarely buys success.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Pltv: Classic Matches - Everton v Arsenal 13/14
Mon, 01 Sep @ 05:00
Mon, 01 Sep @ 16:00
Mon, 01 Sep @ 16:30

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
Where are Kenya's strikers?
I was watching the English Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea on Saturday night and...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Spurs will challenge for the title
It was in my room in Rustenburg, during the last Afcon, that I noticed the style that Mauricio...

John Dykes
United in condemnation
The British football press showed tremendous solidarity this week when they all leaped on the same...

Neil Tovey
Borrowing from best practice
The late Irish scribe and poet Oscar Wilde once famously opined that “youth is wasted on the...

Sunday Oliseh
Man U need more than an 'Angel'
Just two games into the English Premier League and Manchester United are five points (synonymous to...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Good signs for the Reds despite loss
A brace from Stevan Jovetic and a Sergio Aguero stunner ensured that Manchester City took all three...