BEIJING - Former China captain Zheng Zhi helped his new team to a 10-0 win on his return to Chinese football on Wednesday, a drubbing made all the easier by a pay strike that left the opposition with just two regular starters.
The former Charlton and Celtic playmaker got on the scoresheet as Guangzhou FC ran riot in their home Jia League encounter with Nanjing Youyou, who initially travelled to the match with just seven players.
The regular Nanjing players refused to participate in protest at not having been paid - one told local media he was owed four years wages - and the fixture was only able to go ahead after five youth team players were drafted in.
Their only substitution was a goalkeeper, who did not have his own jersey and had to use tape to change the number on the starter's shirt from 1 to 40 when he came on, the Guangzhou Daily reported.
Chinese football suffers from severe image problems because of corruption and mismanagement. Guangzhou FC were formed from the Guangzhou Pharmaceutical club, which was disbanded after being relegated from the top flight for matchfixing.