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SBD Global/October 4, 2013/Franchises

South Korean City Of Seongnam To Become New Owner Of Chunma FC

The citizens of Seongnam, South Korea will become the new owners of K League Classic side Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma as their municipal government announced that it will "take over the southern Gyeonggi-based team that was in danger of being dissolved," according to the JOONGANG DAILY. Chunma was to be dissolved "due to the financial troubles of its mother operator, the Unification Church." Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung said, "We have been considering many ways to host a professional football team for years that include plans of establishing a new club by cooperating with a conglomerate and taking over the Chunma football club." Chunma FC "has had a hard time financing its operation" since the Unification Church decided "not to monetarily support the club" after its founder, Rev. Moon Sun-myung, died in Sept. '12. The church "shut down all of its sports businesses." The church "then told the club to find ways to survive in the K-League on its own." Under those circumstances, the club "suggested that the municipal government take over the team." The study found it "is possible to run the club without a deficit." However, the city government "hesitated to do so" as about an average of 10B won to 20B won ($9.3M to $18.6M) "was projected to be spent every year for running Chunma" (JOONGANG DAILY, 10/3).
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