As many as 11 football clubs in China have been suspended over unpaid wages, as they suffered financially due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The suspended clubs include four from the second-division and seven from the third-division.
Another five clubs were officially defunct, including Chinese Super League side Tianjin Tianhai who have been debt-ridden.
“clubs can barely achieve sustainable development. The owners have invested a lot but earn little back,” Chinese Football Association head Chen Xuyuan said.
“Clubs need to pay attention to long-term planning and rational management in order to protect the interests of players, coaches and staff.
The Chinese Super League will continue to with 16 teams, as Shenzhen FC will take Tiajin’s place.
It still remains unclear when the postponed 2020 season will restart.