A boardroom power struggle at Chinese club Shanghai Shenua may trigger the departures of its foreign stars, including Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.
Shenhua's billionaire chairman Zhu Jun is threatening to withhold foreign players' salaries unless he is granted majority control by the other shareholders, according to a club executive.
"If Zhu Jun cannot get the majority stake, he can only pay for foreign players based on his own stake," the executive told Titan Sports. "Drogba, Anelka and (Colombian midfielder Giovanni) Moreno's salary cannot be guaranteed in future, and they may not be able to attend future matches."
Zhu, an online gaming tycoon, backed the signings of the ex-Chelsea players for reported salaries in excess of $300,000 a week. Their arrival highlighted a dramatic wave of hirings by clubs as the corruption-plagued Chinese Super League (CSL) tries to bolster its image. World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi joined Guangzhou Evergrande. The two ex-Chelsea players both scored in Shenhua's last match, a 3-3 draw with Shandong Luneng. Chinese media said Moreno missed the game because Shenhua hadn't paid a $7 million transfer fee to his former Argentine team, Racing Club.