The Chinese Super League (CSL) could lose its top stars as clubs in the Premier division and the second tier has failed to pay their players regularly.
Thirteen clubs from the top tier and four teams from the second tier have all been guilty of not paying players salaries and bonuses on a regular basis.
Chinese Football Association (CFA) has called on clubs affected to settle their arrears by August 15 and send proof to the CFA or face being denied entry to the League.
The teams named in a July 11 correspondence between the CFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) include current champions Guangzhou Evergrande as well as big spending Shanghai SIPG, whose squad boasts the likes of Hulk, Ricardo Carvalho and £60million midfielder Oscar.
Shanghai Shenhua, who have £615,000-per-week Carlos Tevez and Martins on their books, are also among the teams named.
Chinese top sports governing body accused teams earlier this year of the “grave phenomenon” of “burning money” on foreign players instead of investing in youth development.
The teams that have failed to pay players properly:
Super League: Shanghai Shenhua, Shanghai SIPG, Beijing Guoan, Changchun Yatai, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, Hebei China Fortune, Guangzhou Evergrande, Guangzhou R&F, Jiangsu Suning, Liaoning Whowin, Shandong Luneng Taishan, Tianjin Quanjian, Tianjin TEDA.
League One: Beijing Renhe, Dalian Transcendence, Shanghai Shenxin, Shijiazhuang