Hongkou Stadium Source Says CSL Side Shenhua To Stay In Shanghai
A source said that contrary to the headlines dominating the Chinese football press at present, Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua's proposed move to Kunming, southwest China "is nothing more than political manoeuvring," according to WILD EAST FOOTBALL. Soccer News carried a report to "shock the Chinese football world" claiming an unnamed Yunnan province company had already paid a sum of less than $5M to Shenhua's coffers and "signed a cooperation agreement to move the club to Kunming." A source within management at government-owned Hongkou Football Stadium said that "the proposed move was gamesmanship on the part of eccentric owner Zhu Jun to get a concession from the local government to let Shenhua use Hongkou Stadium for a reduced price." The source said, "Despite this move supposed to have being agreed months ago, we haven't received any indication from Shenhua that they don't intend to play at Hongkou Stadium next season. We have seen this before from Zhu Jun, last time it was a move to Anhui, this time Kunming. I wouldn't say it's totally impossible but it looks like a negotiation tactic straight from Zhu's textbook." The report also said that the CSL "had not received any notice from Shenhua of any intended move." It also went on to reveal that despite Zhu Jun claiming no one wanted to take Shenhua off his hands, Soccer News said that Greenland group, "a Shanghai-based real estate giant which previously confirmed an interest in purchasing Shenhua," had a $24M offer for the club turned down by Zhu Jun as it did not match his valuation (WILD EAST FOOTBALL, 11/19).