English Asia

Chinese Super League club Tianjin Tianhai declares bankruptcy

Once upon a time, Tianjin Tianhai led by Fabio Cannavaro and boasts several world class footballers such as Alexandre Pato and Axel Witsel. But today, Tianjin Tianhai is officially gone.

If you are not familiar with the name, Tianjin went through several name changes throughout the history of the club.

Between 2006-2007, they were known as Hohhot Binhai FC, before they change it to Tianjin Songjiang from 2008-2015.

They changed the name again to Tianjian Quanjian from 2015-2018, based on herbal medical company.

But later Quanjian Group caught doing an illegal multi-level marketing and false advertisement in December 2018.

That led to the arrest of Quanjian Group owner Shu Yuhui, and the club asked the local FA to take over operations and changed its name to Tianjin Tianhai in January last year.

Yuhui who organized a pyramid scheme was sentenced to nine years in prison and his absence contributed to the demise of the club.

“Given an unsustainable financial situation, the club is no longer able to maintain normal operations,” the club said in a statement.

“After a period of thoughtful consideration… the club has no choice but to formally announce that Tianjin Tianhai is disbanding.”

Under the guidance of Cannavaro in 2016, Tianjin won the second division and promoted to the Super League.

They signed Witsel and Pato in their first season in the top-flight and finished third in 2017 to qualify for the AFC Champions League.

However, Cannavaro left in the second top-flight season after he was signed by Guangzhou Evergrande and the team could only finish 9th in 2018 and 14th last season.

With the dissolution of Tianjin, Shenzhen FC who were relegated last season, will take Tianjin’s place this season.