Competitive Balance in the Chinese Soccer League

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This research examines the competitive balance of the CSL since its formation using two popular within-season balance measures. Findings show that balance has been more volatile since league reorganization, but is neither consistently more nor less balanced. Furthermore, we question whether it is coincidental that the CSL was most balanced across all teams in the seasons immediately following its establishment and reorganization, hypothesizing that the traditional Chinese cultural value of harmony may be the root cause. Simple comparisons of win concentrations of top Chinese and UEFA teams do not suggest league imbalance. Given Chinese fan penchant for national team games, we propose that (contrary to the UOH) league interest could potentially be increased by greater imbalance skewed toward the top teams.