Greenland Group have officially announced the completion of its takeover of Shanghai Shenhua and has signed an agreement to acquire all the club’s assets.
Due to the timing of the announcement, right on Chinese New Year’s eve, the real estate group did not release any details of the deal, stating only that more information would be forthcoming in due course. However, that a deal has been agreed brings to an end Zhu Jun’s chaotic and shambolic seven year reign as owner of Shanghai Shenhua and closes the most turbulent period in the club’s history.
According to media reports however, the five state-owned enterprises paid Zhu Jun around 200 million RMB (24 million Euro) for his 28.5% stake in the club and his operational rights. Greenland will now become Shenhua’s holding company. It is also claimed that both Zhu Jun and Greenland will jointly cover the cost of any compensation the club must pay Didier Drogba for breaking his contract. This matter is under appeal at FIFA and Shenhua may yet have to pay around 12 million Euro to the Ivorian.
The announcement puts to an end six months of speculation that Greenland would take over the club, with rumours in the past month intensifying. Your correspondent’s sources also turned out to be correct that Zhu Jun would be out before Chinese New Year:
The biggest problem now facing Shenhua is reinforcing the a squad left decimated by Zhu Jun, who sold key players Wang Dalei, Dai Lin and Song Boxuan in something of a scorched earth exercise in his final days as controller of the club. According to league regulations, Shenhua can only sign one more domestic player and two more foreign players before the season begins.
With Shenhua’s signings so far being CSL reserves and China League One players, the club has a real job on its hands avoiding relegation this coming season.
Much remains to be seen as to what exactly the Greenland takeover will mean for Shenhua’s transfer policy this season, the club’s future, and its impact on the rest of Chinese football. Each of these three could be very significant.