Struggling Shanghai Shenxin are to make a shock relocation to the Diaoyu Islands in an effort to both attract more fans and curry favour with the Chinese establishment, can exclusively reveal.
The Jinshan-based side, which has moved its home stadium each year for the past three seasons, will once again up sticks during the CSL’s summer break – which is conveniently longer than usual owing to this being a World Cup year.
The Islands have been the subject of a territorial dispute between Japan and China and it is believed the move of the Chinese Super League’s most nomadic club will strengthen China’s claims on the outcrop.
Commentating on the unexpected move, Chinese analyist Professor Chou Jue from Jing Di Zhi Wa University said, “From a both a business and strategic perspective, this is a very shrewd move from Shenxin. Not only will they find a permanent home, but this relocation offers substantial benefits for the policitical aspirations of the club’s owner, San Huangji.”
Shenxin have also attracted a grant from the CFA to build a new green stadium which will be entirely self-sufficient from an environmental perspective. Owing to the remote location and small size of the islands, any facilities built there must have their own independent power source.
According to the plans, a 250-capacity stadium will be build using reclaimed land, and will be powered by an adjacent wind farm. On clam days, a backup generator powered by seagull droppings will be used to provide adequate electricity. Other prosposals include a seaweed cultivation system for China’s growing domestic appetite for the acquatic plant.
The club, which was formerly based in Nanchang before moving to the Shanghai suburb of Jinshan in 2012, and then to Yuanshen Stadium in Shanghai city the following year before moving once again back to Jinshan this year, is known for attracting surprisingly large crowds during its period in Shanghai proper last season, averaging of around 8,500 a match.
According to a statement regarding these fixtures on the club’s website, this hot air will be used to power a balloon to float both Shenxin fans over the sea to the Diaoyu Island’s to watch the club’s games each week.
The move will be officially registered with the CFA by the time the season resumes from its summer sabbatical in late July.