Rumors Dalian Shide FC Could Be Up For Sale, Red Bull As 'Preferred' Bidder
The Chinese-language 21st Century Business Herald reported property developer Dalian Shide Group is "reportedly negotiating the sale" of its Chinese Super League football club, with Red Bull and Dalian Haichang Group "touted as potential buyers," according to WANTCHINATIMES.com. Rumors of the owner selling Dalian Shide FC "have been circulating since May." Red Bull is reportedly "the club's preferred buyer, though the local government is adamant that the club should remain in the city and are concerned that Red Bull would move the team elsewhere." One insider said, "Shide soccer club is like a mascot for Dalian, they do not want the club to leave and are actively looking for buyers for it." The sale comes as a result of the company's "financial difficulties" after the disappearance of its Chair Xu Ming half a year ago in connection with the expelled Communist Party leader Bo Xilai scandal. It is believed that Xu gave bribes to Chongqing Police Chief Wang Lijun, who was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for abusing his position. The city government of Dalian has intervened in Dalian Shide's financial crises since Xu disappeared and has reportedly "helped to collect money for the group as it was unable to pay its employees" (WANTCHINATIMES.com, 10/17).