Reigning Chinese Super League champion Jiangsu FC ‘ceases operations’

Reigning Chinese Super League champion Jiangsu FC 'ceases operations'

Jiangsu FC — previously often called Jiangsu Suning — hit the headlines in 2019 after it was reported to have supplied Gareth Bale a extremely profitable contract to go away Real Madrid.

“Due to various uncontrollable elements, Jiangsu Football Club cannot effectively guarantee to continue to play in the Super League and the AFC [Asian Football Confederation],” the membership’s house owners, Nanjing-based retailer Suning, mentioned in an announcement.

“In the past six months, the club has gone all the way to seek to transfer the club’s equity with great sincerity, and did not give up the opportunity of Jiangsu Football Club’s inheritance.

“On the event of the deadline for admission to the 2021 season … we have now no selection however to announce: with rapid impact, Jiangsu Football Club ceases operations of its groups, and on the similar time, on a bigger scale, we anticipate folks of perception and enterprises from the society to debate follow-up growth issues with us.”

The decision also impacts Jiangsu FC’s successful women’s team, which won its second Chinese Women’s Super League title in 2019.

If Jiangsu FC is unable to find a new buyer, that could have implications for the Asian Champions League — the continent’s most prestigious club tournament — which starts in April.

The Asia Football Confederation did not immediately respond to CNN Sport’s request for comment.

Eye-watering contracts

For several years, CSL clubs have been luring some of the world’s top talent with eye-watering contracts, leading many to question the long-term viability of the league.

Just last month, fellow CSL club Shandong Luneng was barred from competing in the Asian Champions League due to its breaching of financial regulations.

Local reports also say that Tianjin Tigers — formerly known as Tianjin Teda — is also on the verge of collapse, after its state-owned owner TEDA Holding reportedly pulled its funding ahead of the season.

Part of the issue stems from a recent Chinese Football Association (CFA) ruling that no longer permits clubs to have corporate sponsors in their titles.

The Tigers’ city rival Tianjin Tianhai, once the home of Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato and Italian coach Fabio Cannavaro, collapsed and ceased to exist in May of last year.

Suning is also a majority owner in current Italian league leader Inter Milan after purchasing 68.55% of the club for $307 million in 2016.

Inter did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment as to whether Suning’s new football strategy had any implications for the Serie A club.

‘Soccer powerhouse’

The CFA mentioned it “regrets” Jiangsu FC’s suspension of operations, but “respects the choice.”

“Jiangsu soccer has had an excellent historical past and, since its takeover in 2015, the Suning Group has contributed tremendously to soccer growth normally,” the CFA said in a statement on its website, reported Reuters. “The Chinese Football Association appreciates this effort.

“The Chinese Football Association will work towards implementing the China Football Reform and Development Plan to continue its reforms, with an emphasis on strengthening youth development, improving the professional league and uniting all the forces around Chinese football to keep fighting for Chinese football.”

As vp in 2011, Chinese President Xi Jinping made getting higher on the lovely sport a nationwide purpose. As a toddler, Xi had performed soccer at college and had ambitions for your entire nation to fall in love with the game.

In 2016, China unveiled its blueprint to rework the nation right into a “soccer powerhouse” in a position to problem the world’s high groups by 2050.

Businessmen together with Alibaba’s Jack Ma had been inspired to take a position billions within the CSL, whereas Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group (DWG) additionally poured tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} into the game.

However, not a single Super League match bought out within the 2019 season, with stadium capability averaging at 51% full. During that season Jiangsu’s common attendance was 27,508 within the 62,000-capacity Nanjing Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the 2020 CSL season began behind closed doors, earlier than a restricted variety of followers had been allowed into stadiums.

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