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Chinese Super League


All games of the second-last round of the 2012 season kicked off on Saturday at 3.30 pm. While Guangzhou Evergrande used home advantage to secure a second championship title in a row, Henan Jianye  finally got relegated to China League 1 for the next season.

Guangzhou Evergrande – Liaoning Whowin 1:0 (0:0)

Attendance: 39,989

After losing to a late Gao Lin goal, conceded during the last seconds of normal time, Liaoning will need something from their home game in Shenyang and ultimate fixture of the season against direct competitor Shanghai Shenxin next Saturday to avoid relegation. The North-easterners do not want to repeat the same fate as in 2008 when they got relegated from top flight football.
Henan Jianye – Dalian Shide 0:1 (0:0)
Attendance: 15,236
Yan Xiangchuangs goal for Dalian at Zhengzhou’s Hanghai Stadium scored within nine minutes of the restart after half-time, helped Shide to secure top division football for the 2013 season. Henan had a goal disallowed towards the end of the first half, presumably for an offside position.
Shanghai Shenxin – Shandong Luneng 1:1 (0:0)
Attendance: 14,086
Du Wei’s equalizer from deep into time added-on for the visiting Jinan team, broke hearts of the many home fans who attended this crucial fixture at Jinshan Stadium. Shenxin’s lead taken in the 72nd minute came courtesy of a Wang Jiayu strike.
Qingdao Jonoon – Guangzhou R&F 3:2 (2:1)
Attendance: 10,876 
Changchun Yatai : Hangzhou Greentown 0:3 (0:1)
Attendance: 10,120
The home team lost any hope of playing in the ACL competition next season after losing 3:0 at home in the Development Area Stadium, the CSL’s most northern venue in the capital of Jilin Province. In the eyes of Greentown supporters, the Zhejiang team maybe about to end a tumultuous season on a conciliatory note.
Jiangsu Sainty : Beijing Guo’an 0:0 
Attendance: 52,836
Another big crowd flocked to attend Nanjing’s last CSL home game in 2012 at the Olympic Sports Center. The 0:0 draw sees the team from China’s capital grabbing a valuable ACL spot.
Guizhou Renhe FC – Tianjin Teda 1:1 (1:1)
Attendance: 22,688
Dalian Aerbin – Shanghai Shenhua 0:0
Attendance: 18,921



  1. Yiddo Huayi

    01/11/2012 at 15:56

    Some healthy looking crowd numbers there. Do you have a feel for how it has gone over the whole season?

    Here are some average crowd numbers for various leagues. The A-League seems to be benefiting from having the likes of Heskey, Del Piero and Ono.


    • bcheng

      05/11/2012 at 09:34

      The league average was about a thousand more than it was last year, despite attendance being down slightly in Beijing and Guangzhou. Jiangsu’s average was bumped up massively by their attendance for the final two matches, which helped the league average as well.

      I think it’s fair to say every club has a core of 10,000 or so supporters and when they are doing well, its bound to go up a bit. That core may be around 15,000 in Liaoning and 25,000 in Beijing and Guangzhou.

  2. Martin Kuroczik

    02/11/2012 at 12:43

    Certainly a good question Yiddo. Unfortunately, the whole picture is too volatile. Maybe having a look at each club individually might help. Clubs, although I only know about football in Shanghai to some extent (but maybe this modern Chinese city serves as a good example), need to do a lot of work to make young fans turn up regularly at the gates, fluctuation is still big. Guangzhou Evergrande, no surprise, always seems to get a stable number of supporters coming through the gates. I wonder, however, what rising expectations will mean for the club and the gates if the team would experience a bad run or is competing in many competitions as fans might want to prioritize what games they are going to spend their money on. While Evergrande’s season seemed to come to a slow end a few weeks ago when the team got knocked out of the ACL competition, I now feel that passion has bounced back at the club as the team successfully ventured on to grab that second domestic title. (Other contributors might know these numbers better) I am just expecting that only the CSL will not do it for fans in the future anymore, but then I don’t know how the media and public in Guangzhou handle the expectations and how realistic they are. Shanghai media, it seems, saw a messiah coming to the club in the form of Didier Drogba and Nicholas Anelka and that is just too naive.

    Jiangsu’s attendances exploded in the last two home matches. Presumably because during these matches the way of where the title would go would be decided. Against Evergrande more than 65,000 people flocked to the ground. It seems Jiangsu always had about 20,000 plus fans going to the games during the season, can they get their average attendance up a notch? I hope so, but I am sure this will coincide with how the season will progress in the eyes of the fans. For some reasons, I expect Jiangsu to get bruised in the ACL next year, this could lead to hurt pride among the more volatile segment of their supporters, but this is all to be seen. I don’t think they will fly as high next season, so maybe we can expect about the same number of fans coming. But Jiangsu, keep up your good work.

    Beijing always gets a solid number of supporters in the stadium, the club seems well-embedded with the locals, hopefully Jiangsu can repeat the same feat as well in the long-run. Guizhou, with a low attendance last time out as fans maybe saved up their money to attend the upcoming cup final, was absolutely smashing it and often getting 50,000 fans to turn up. Guangzhou R&F seems to slowly find their feet in the new surroundings, the last attendance at home was at about 14,000, up from around 10,000 midway during the season when they switched home grounds. I think this move was the right one to take. Guangzhou is crazy enough about football to have two teams in the top division with both of them aiming at a different segment of the population. Shenxin also seems to have become popular with the locals at Jinshan, attendance gradually going up and the last figure was similar to R&F’s figure. At the same time, Shenhua’s attendance was dropping, maybe they get more honest football down at Jinshan and locals appreciate that.

    Dalian Aerbin certainly has a healthy base of supporters, are they eating away from a fan-starved Shide side? Where their fans have gone is a mystery, there are also wild rumors about what is happening to the club in the future. I think Liaoning is doing ok, but both Dalian Shide and Liaoning Whowin have been powerhouses of Chinese football in the past. Not sure if the picture attendance wise changed much within the recent past though. Changchun always seems to get an attendance of around 10,000, their gate is stable. Despite going down it seems to me that Henan also got a good attendance. However, I only glimpsed at them with a half-eye.

    Tianjin’s and Hangzhou’s attendances have been dreadful, not sure what their problems are. Both teams have been hovering around mid-table though, nothing to play for, maybe this sort of stalemate kills a re-invigoration of spirits among supporters at any club. Shenhua’s season never got going and the effect of signing Drogba and Anelka waned soon after when results did not come the way fans expected. Last game the attendance was below 10,000 and I think Shenhua has a lot to do to make it better and the club has to do a better job in bringing the expectation among certain club bosses in line with the expectations of the fans. What to expect from a season needs to be communicated more clearly. The gap between high expectations and the team’s performance killed it. You can feel the club is in transformation and fans don’t know where the team is headed as no decision have been made yet, I could feel this had effects on the supporters when I was in the ground. Marketing in a lot of cities or venues could be better and fans in Shanghai are certainly a volatile bunch. I met a few people who support East Asia and for them Shenhua was a religion when they were teenagers but then things turned from sour to worse and people lost faith in the domestic game and cash-rich Shanghai certainly has to do a better job if they don’t want their club to end up as laughing stock. Continuity is the key but you can tell this a million of times.

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