Jiangsu Suning F.C.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 01/2016
Jiangsu Suning Football Club
March 1994: (Professional)
Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Chinese Super League
Super League, 9th
Jiangsu Suning Football Club (simplified Chinese: 江苏苏宁; traditional Chinese: 江蘇蘇寧; pinyin: Jiāngsū Sūníng) is a professional football club that currently participates in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA).
The team is based in Nanjing, Jiangsu and their home stadium is the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center that has a seating capacity of 61,443.
Their current owners are the retailer Suning Commerce Group.
The team was originally founded in 1958 as Jiangsu Provincial Team while the current professional football club was established in March 1994.
They were one of the founding members of the first fully professional top tier league in China, the 1994 Chinese Jia-A League season, however they faced relegation in that campaign.
They have since gone on to win promotion back into the top tier at the end of the 2008 league season and achieved their best ever league finish when they ended up being runners-up in the 2012 season.
The club was originally founded in April 1958 as Jiangsu Provincial Team by the local government and would take part in the 1959 Chinese National Games where they placed twelfth.
They would then join the top tier of the gradually expanding Chinese football league system in 1960, where they came nineteenth out of a possible twenty-five.
By 1963, the league had expanded to thirty-nine teams and the Chinese Football Association were looking to only have twenty teams for next season's league system.
Jiangsu would unfortunately finish seventh within the group stages, which saw them relegated from the league system.
In 1964, they would not take part in any of the divisions but returned to play in the second tier in 1965 where they came seventh in the group stages.
The Chinese Cultural Revolution would see the league halted for several seasons, but when it officially returned in 1973, Jiangsu would enter the league back into the top tier where they finished the league in eleventh.
Jiangsu's time in the top tier did not last very long, and by the 1978 season, they would find themselves relegated to the second division at the end of the season.
For the next several years, Jiangsu would remain a second tier club except for a brief period in 1988.
However, in 1992 they would have brief revival when they won the second tier title and guaranteed promotion to the first fully professional first-tier league, the Chinese Jia-A League, no matter what happened in the 1993 season.
In March 1994, the club gained sponsorship and changed their name to Jiangsu Maint to comply with the requirements to take part in the 1994 Chinese Jia-A League season. However, they struggled with professionalism on and off the field.
First, they were relegated at the end of the season, and then due to the stricter operational costs the club, they financially struggled before losing their sponsorship.
However, they gained some financial support from several major Chinese businesses, such as Jiangsu TV, Jinling Petrochemical Company, and several Jiangsu tobacco companies as well as some international investment companies came in 1996.
The club changed their name to Jiangsu Jiajia to represent this.
Even though Jiangsu were able to gain some financial stability, they were still relegated to the third tier at the end of the 1996 season, but only spent one season in there after they won the division league title in 1997.
On 7 January 2000, the manufacturing company Jiangsu Sainty International Group decided to take over the club and changed the club's name to Jiangsu Sainty.
The new owners did not get off to the best of starts when it was discovered they were unable to control some of their players and coaches from taking bribes, a game in the 2001 season against Chengdu Wuniu when they lost 4:2 was highlighted.
The offending participants were banned for a year while the club had three months to reform and re-apply for a CFA playing license.
After promising to clean up the club, the team lingered in the second tier for several years until they brought in Pei Encai to manage the team and win the division title at the end of the 2008 season.
The introduction of Serbian manager Dragan Okuka during the 2011 league season saw a significant improvement in league table finishes, which saw a fourth place finish at the end of the campaign and a runners-up position in the 2012 season.
Off the field the Jiangsu Sainty International Group was merged into Guoxin Group in 2011 to form Jiangsu Guoxin Investment Group Limited, this saw the Guoxin Group became the owner of the club.
The club's name remained as Jiangsu Sainty F.C. until January 2014, when they officially changed into Jiangsu Guoxin-Sainty F.C.
On the field Dragan Okuka saw the club have difficult 2013 league season that saw the club flirt with relegation, which lead to the club deciding not to renew his contract.
By the 2015 league season Romanian manager Dan Petrescu was brought into Jiangsu where he won them the 2015 Chinese FA Cup for the first time and qualification to the 2016 AFC Champions League.
In December 2015, the club was purchased by Suning Commerce Group with ¥523 million and changed their name as Jiangsu Suning F.C.
The club currently shares rivalries with neighbouring Jiangnan club's Hangzhou Greentown F.C. along with Shanghai base teams Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C., Shanghai Shenxin F.C. and Shanghai SIPG F.C. where they contest in a fixture called the Yangtze Delta Derby.
Out of these ties the clash against Shanghai Greenland Shenhua is the oldest and fiercest, which can be dated as far back to the 1960 league championship.
When Jiangsu were relegated to the second tier in 1978 it put a halt to the rivalty between these two clubs, which wasn't properly reignited until both teams were in the 2009 top flight and hostilities were allowed to flare-up again.
Direct competition for silverware fought between these two teams finally emerged when they competed in the 2015 Chinese FA Cup final, which saw Jiangsu win 1:0 to claim their first ever Cup win.
The Nanjing derby was a local inner city derby against Nanjing Yoyo F.C. that started when Nanjing Yoyo moved into the same city as Jiangsu and into their former home ground of Wutaishan Stadium.
Their first meeting accured in Nanjing Yoyo's home ground on 19 July 2003 in a second tier league game, which ended in a 1:1 draw.
For six seasons the two teams fought to be the dominant club within Nanjing City with Jiangsu predominately showing this with four wins, seven draws and only one defeat against Nanjing Yoyo.
When Jiangsu won promotion to the top tier at the end of the 2008 league season it would put a halt to the derby until 7 May 2011 when Nanjing Yoyo were dissolved due to finical difficulties.