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China League One

Beijing Renhe drop to third tier after second consecutive relegation

Beijing Renhe

Beijing Renhe will play in China League Two in 2021 after suffering their second relegation in two years.

The capital city club held on for a 1-1 score in the second leg of their relegation playoff against Jiangxi Liansheng, but were consigned to the third tier of Chinese football thanks to a 3-2 aggregate score.

Jiangxi, who featured in China League One courtesy of the flurry of club dissolutions prior to the 2020 captain, will stay in the second tier while Renhe, who were playing in the Chinese Super League just a year ago, drop to their worst position since 1995.

Life has been difficult for the club since they relocated to the Chinese capital, having won the Chinese FA Cup and Super Cup in 2013 and 2014 respectively while playing as Guizhou Renhe.

Relegation in their final season in southern China ultimately led to the move, where it took two years to earn promotion back to the top.

After finishing eighth in their return season in the Super League, Renhe plummeted to the bottom of the table. The drop into the second tier saw a number of key departures for the club, with few reinforcements or quality additions in return.

Despite this, Renhe finished just two points shy of reaching the promotion stage of the 2020 campaign, but they could not handle the relegation phase of the tournament, finishing second-bottom of their group before facing Jiangxi in the playoff.

Now, they join Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard in China League Two and will need to make some significant changes to the team if they hope to make an immediate return to the second tier of Chinese football.

A number of clubs have had surprising drops down the Chinese football pyramid, including the likes of Qingdao Jonoon, with a number of clubs that were once successful now no longer in existance.

Beijing Renhe will need to take a serious look at the make-up of the team and find a suitable manager that can help them once again climb up the ladder and work towards a return to the Super League.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and the correspondent on Changchun Yatai for Wild East Football. James has followed the club since 2012, lived in the North-Eastern city between August 2013 and March 2018 and was a season ticket holder for the 2015 CSL campaign.

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