As 2017 will be the Year of the Cockerel in China, the festival takes on added significance for the Club and Saturday kicks off a campaign of activities running up until January 28, New Year’s Day.
Perhaps the most famous cockerel of all, our mascot Chirpy, will be out and about in China throughout the festive period, visiting families and surprising fans.
The Club has an estimated following of 45 million in China as interest in the Premier League continues to grow – our Chinese social media channels are among the most popular in European football.
Through our Global Coaching programme, we are committed to helping develop the game at grassroots level in China, in line with the government’s ambitions to increase participation and improve the national team.
In recent years, we have delivered Global Coaching programmes in eight regions across China and Hong Kong, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Working in partnership with our shirt sponsors, we launched the AIA China Youth Football Development Project in 2015, providing sporting opportunities to underprivileged young people across rural areas of China.
Over the past 12 months, the Club has also worked with well-known Chinese charity, the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, on a series of football and cultural projects in the UK and China.