The China League 2 team, He Lan Shan Football Club and their investor Shanghai Mountain & Sea Investment Group jointly announced on December 12 that Shanghai Mountain & Sea Investment Group will fully withdraw, transferring all the 90% of the club’s shares it holds to Yinchuan Sports Association for free.
In return, Shanghai Mountain & Sea Investment Group will no longer be responsible for any debt or operational liabilities of the club and the club will no longer bear the name of Mountain & Sea either.
Earlier at the beginning of December, He Lan Shan Football Club made an announcement that they would not play in the 2019 China League 2 season.
Located in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in China, the club was founded in 2013 as the first professional football club in Ningxia. The club played in China League 2 for the 2014 and 2015 season and was purchased by Mountain & Sea at the end of 2015, with 90% of the stakes held by Mountain & Sea and 10% transferred to the Yinchuan Sports Association. Mountain & Sea revealed that the money to buy the 10% stake, approximately CNY1.2m, was never paid by the Yinchuan Sports Association.
After three years of running the club and investing more than CNY100m, Mountain & Sea are not able to continue to run the club on their own and feel that they cannot meet the standard of running a professional club in China League 2 for the 2019 season. Additionally the club wrote in the announcement they face many obstacles and received no support from the local sports authorities.
For example, in the 2018 season, their home stadium Yinchuan He Lan Shan Stadium could not be used for CL2 matches due to damage to the pitch caused by renovations to the stadium for the 60th anniversary of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The club travelled to Huanghe Olympic Sports Center in another city, Wuzhong for CL2 home matches and trained in the Yinchuan He Lan Shan Stadium. The distance between Wuzhong and Yichuan is 60-70 kilometers. The additional costs for travel and accommodation in the 2018 season was over CNY800,000.
It has been speculated that after the withdrawal of Mountain & Sea, the He Lan Shan Football Club is likely to end as well.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick