A 10-point deduction could be coming the way of Beijing Guoan over their January signing of Cedric Bakambu from Villarreal.
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) will not allow clubs to make use of legal loopholes to avoid paying the luxury tax on transfers.
To avoid it, they will clamp down in a big way by penalising teams with points deductions in the league table.
This crackdown is set to hit Beijing Guoan hard and failure to pay the luxury tax would lead to Bakambu not being able to be entered in the competition in addition to a 10-point deduction for the club.
The legislation implemented a year ago ensured that Chinese Super League clubs would pay a 100 percent luxury tax if they exceeded a limit set out by the CFA for transfers.
In the case of signing foreign players, this was marked at 45 million yen (5.8 million euros), while it was 2.5 million euros for Chinese players.
Always eager to find a way to avoid it though, Chinese clubs sought legal loopholes in their bid to still make major signings and not be hit too hard for it.
Beijing Guoan thought they found it by having Bakambu himself or a third party pay the 40m euros in his release clause and thus buying the player’s freedom.
Essentially, the striker was then regarded as a free agent and was free to sign for Beijing Guoan, who had not made any official transfer payment.
However, the CFA have gotten involved and insisted that the payment of a release clause, either by the player or a third party, also enters the category of a transfer fee and thus is not exempt from the luxury tax.
This implies that the club must now pay another 40m euros into a common fund for the development of Chinese football and Bakambu cannot be registered for the time being.
However, the association are not stopping there and have also set penalty points in place for clubs who break those rules.
Depending on the amount of the transfer fee, the sections are divided into five tiers ranging from one to 15 points.
In Bakambu’s case, having signed in a 40m euro deal, the amount is the fourth most severe and therefore eligible for a 10-point deduction as it was between 23-46m euros.
The ball is now in the capital club’s court and they must act quickly in order to stop the player being left in limbo, by paying the luxury tax for his signing.
Failure to do this could have a double consequence, meaning Bakambu will not be permitted whatsoever to be registered and a six-point penalty at the start of next season.