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Word Count: 432
SYNOPSIS THE FOOTBALL FARM is the inside story of the wheeling and dealing behind the global soccer marketing machine as seen through the eyes of Asian soccer players agents and managers In mid 2002the soccer World Cup comes to Asia with Japan and Korea co-hosting the eventAnd with China qualifying for the competition for the first timethe stage is set for Asian football and football players to be exposed to millions of people worldwideNot surprisinglythe extra attention is already starting to have an impact A small number of players from countries like Japan and China are being targeted by the European glamour leaguesand not just because they can play soccerThe greater the exposure a club hasthe greater the value of their brandFor European clubs who want a footprintin Asiahaving a local player can help deliver thisFor instancewhen Japanese mid-fielder Junichi Inamoto signed with Arsenal recentlythere was a 600 increase in the use of the club s far eastern websitesThe marketing of Arsenal merchandise and the sales of television rights of Arsenal games to the massive Asian fan base is expected to yield the club millions Right nowthe European clubs have their eyesearscheque books and cash registers focused firmly on ChinaIn 1998 veteran defender Fan Zhiyi led the way by being the first Chinese player to transfer to EuropeHe is now on his way to Scottish Premier League team Dundee UnitedAnd fresh from his heroics in the World Cup Qualifiersyoung gun Li Wiefeng is poised to join the growing exodus to Europe There are 12 billion reasons why many clubs are targeting young Chinese hopefuls in an attempt to break into the Chinese marketIn amongst this pack of huntersis England - based Chinese player agentSusan Tham In this traditionally Anglo male-dominated world of the football scouta young Chinese woman is going to have to be very special to compete and winWhat with Chinese politicsEnglish bean-countersand soccer divas and their inflated egos to deal withSusan
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