Ahead of their second CSL season, Guangzhou R&F have been busy during the winter months developing the team and their presence in the Cantonese capital. Here brings together all the happenings on pitch, off the pitch and to do with the pitch itself.
On the pitch – Signings
R&F have been active in the domestic transfer market and have filled four of the five domestic transfer spots. Centre back and captain of troubled Dalian Shide Zhang Yaokun was first to arrive followed by three from neighbours Guangzhou Evergrande. The signings of forward Jiang Ning, winger Wu Pingfeng and defender Li Jianhua were announced on the same day with the latter two opting to remain in their native province to potentially see out their careers. In addition, midfielder Li Yan made his loan move from Evergrande permanent at the end of last season so doesn’t count towards to 2013 quota.
Off the pitch – Tickets and departures
Last Saturday was the first day of season ticket sales and out of the 4000 that were offered at least 3000 were bought on the day with more being sold on the internet. When these figures have been tallied together the club will consider releasing a further 1000 season tickets. Tickets are very competitively priced at 380RMB for new fans, 330RMB for returning fans or 240RMB for students. On top of this the club are in negotiations with the British Chamber of Commerce and a Nigerian fans group to sell season tickets directly; watch this space for more details. R&F are also considering introducing a tiered pricing structure for individual match tickets with the Cantonese derby being the most expensive. This could be brought down if tickets to other matches against opponents from further away, such as Qingdao, are purchased.
The other major off field news is that assistant coach, and the manager before Segio Farias arrived, Li Shubin who led R&F to promotion to the CSL in their first half season in Guangzhou has left the club. Ex-Chengdu Blades boss Li Bing was quickly appointed in his place to work alongside Farias whom R&F had acted swiftly to secure the continued services of at the end of last season.
Last but by no means least is the welcome news that after their mid-season switch to the University City stadium last year, R&F will return to Yuexiushan stadium this season.