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CSL champions Jiangsu FC seeking new owners

Jiangsu Suning

Reigning Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC are seeking new ownership to reportedly avoid dissolution.

According to sources in China, via Titan Sports Plus, Jiangsu owners Suning Group are offering the club for as low as one penny, with the organisation seeking to focus purely on their retail division.

Taking on the club comes with accepting enormous debts in the region of 500 million RMB, equivalent to €63.77 million, with the club facing the prospect of dissolution with Suning no longer interesting in operating the club – with pre-season training still yet to resume after the Spring Festival holiday.

The Nanjing-based club claimed a historic first Chinese league title in 2020, overcoming favourites Guangzhou FC (formerly Evergrande) and came close to winning a domestic double – falling to Shandong Taishan (formerly Luneng) in the final.

With the Chinese FA’s decision to force clubs into non-corporate rebranding, a number of clubs have emerged as having shaky ownership situations – with some ownership groups opting to pull out completely with no further interest in being involved with clubs they have owned for many years.

Jiangsu, Chongqing and Tianjin Tigers (former TEDA) have all faced uncertain ownership situations this off-season, with only Chongqing seemingly receiving help from local government to ensure their immediate future is secured.

If a viable owner can’t be found, Jiangsu could be headed for what appears to be the fate of Tianjin, which will see the club dissolved just a few months after being crowned champions of Chinese football.

Seeing Jiangsu disappear would be a shocking development for Chinese football, in what has been one of the most disrupted and unstable off-seasons in recent memory – seeing a number of top import talents leave the country, even after years of service and success.

Previous reports suggested that Wuxi Municipal Government were interested in helping save the club, but a deal could not be agreed between the two parties.

This may be a revisited avenue with the state of things as they stand and will be a story worth following with so much uncertainty still ahead for the club.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and editor for Wild East Football. James is an avid fan of Changchun Yatai, having been a season-ticket holder in 2015, and has been involved with Wild East Football for a number of years.

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