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08:34, August 13, 2009

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Lang Ping's huge annual income as a volleyball coach has become a major topic in sports, but fellow coaches are convinced she is worth it and will inject a shot in the arm for the domestic volleyball league, which is still struggling to gain substantial sponsorship.

The head coach of the Liaoning team, Yue Jinku, is pleased with the move, saying Lang will help boost the profile of the sport in China.

"Lang is a world-class coach and it's not expensive," said Yue.

"The league is struggling due to undeveloped marketing. Most of teams in the league are yet to become professional due to the lack of sponsors," Yue said.

"Lang's move will make the players, coaches and the domestic companies aware of the potential value of the sport.

"They will know it's beneficial to all after making a club and our league professional.

"If Lang's team continues to develop in the right way, it will inspire other clubs to follow. It will definitely boost the professionalizing of the domestic league."

The head coach of the Bayi team echoed Yue's comments and hopes Lang's move will become a spark to reform the sport.

"Now we can see a volleyball coach can earn more than coaches in soccer and basketball," said Lin Yuting. "It's the best way to promote and popularize volleyball. I believe our league needs major reform to revitalize it. Lang's move could be the fuse."

Lin feels saddened by the fact that volleyball is an Olympic and World Championship winning sport but lags far behind the domestic soccer and basketball leagues.

"The marketing of our league is even behind soccer's fourth division league," said Lin. "Our governing body made efforts to change the situation over the past few years but they did not work. We are lagging farther behind soccer and basketball. We need someone like Lang, who boasts huge popularity in fans and can attract potential sponsors."

Lin said Lang's team, and other clubs, should learn from the Italian League and buy foreign stars.

"If we have major sponsors, we should buy big stars from Italy and Brazil. Then our league will be further popularized."

Source: China Daily/Agency

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