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Guangzhou Evergrande sack Lee Jang-Soo – Lippi to takeover

A pensive Lee Jang-Soo mulls over his departure from Guangzhou

Guangzhou Evergrande have fired Korean coach Lee Jang-Soo and will name Marcello Lippi as his replacement tomorrow, according to Chinese media.

Speculation over Lee’s future at the Cantonese club had been mounting for some time, despite the club repeatedly issuing assurances over the future of the former Beijing Guoan head coach, who master minded Guangzhou’s first-ever Chinese Super League championship win last season.

Rumours have also persisted this season about Lippi being brought in to replace Lee, but Evergrande also denied these, as did the veteran Italian coach himself. But it now appears that Lippi is set to take over, Sina Sports report Guangzhou will make an announcement tomorrow at 2pm.

Lee has departed Evergrande despite the club leading the Chinese Super League at the moment, and qualifying  from the group stages of the ACL last night, albeit narrowly. He announced the news to his players in Thailand last night (pictured, top).

Sohu Sports quoted Korean media sources as saying Lee had an agreement in place to resign after the final ACL group game, however, its unclear if he was pushed or jumped of his own volition.

Lee is no stranger to suddenly departing clubs during succesful spells  – he was sacked as Beijing Guoan manager in 2009 whilst the capital side were leading the Chinese Super League in September 2009.

Speaking of his latest misfortune, Sohu Sports reported Lee as saying, “It’s no problem, it’s not important. But I do think its a bit hard to take, after all the team just qualified for the last 16 of the Asian Champions League, and they are top of the Chinese Super League after ten games.

Of his future, Lee said, “I am going to rest for a while, there has been too much pressure on my shoulders recently, I need to relax. I need to go back to China for a few days to take care of some arrangements, then I’ll return to Korea.”

A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.



  1. Yiddo Huayi

    16/05/2012 at 19:04

    Football used to be such a simple and logical game: Win your matches – you must be doing something right.

  2. Canton_Lion

    16/05/2012 at 21:59

    The cruel world of modern football…
    Even Di Matteo is not guaranteed to be permanent coach of Chelsea if they win the CL…
    Farewell Lee, u r a gud coach

  3. ODD

    16/05/2012 at 22:38

    Could it be they are preparing Lippi to replace Camacho in the future. After all, there are a lot of NT players in Guangzhou Evergrande. Perhaps starting to fit in China and understand how things work with chinese football.
    Maybe i think too much…LOL

    • bcheng

      17/05/2012 at 00:07

      You’re thinking too much. Zheng Zhi and Sun Xiang should no longer be national teamers, leaving Gao Lin, Rong Hao, Feng Xiaoting, and Zhang Linpeng. Of those four, there isn’t a single one who has a solid lock on a starting position. Lippi’s coming because he’s a big name and nothing more. Camacho, for worse, is the manager until 2014, I can’t see Lippi being around that long.

      • Football is War

        18/05/2012 at 01:57

        Yet somehow my gut instinct tells me that in a few years Lippi gonna be China coach….
        Seriously, look at the man’s impressive resume, i bet that Camacho must be sweating now.

  4. Yiddo Huayi

    17/05/2012 at 16:07

    From your weibo panel on the home page: “After watching how Buriram’s Frank Acheampong dominated Evergrande, local rival R&F are now trying to sign the 18 year old starlet .”

    God that would be so funny if it happened!

  5. Jona Claesen

    20/05/2012 at 14:39

    A sad day in football!

    I will laugh if Lipi losses his matches and asks time to buod a winning squad!

    Still shameful to do that to someone who has done so much for Guagnzhou and Chinese football!!

    • Jona Claesen

      20/05/2012 at 14:40

      *to rebuild a winning squad

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