Chinese football club Hebei can’t pay bills, future is uncertain

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The future of another Chinese football club is in question after Hebei FC said on Monday it was struggling to pay its utility bills.

All of Hebei’s young players will go on vacation from Wednesday, Hebei said on its social media channel, raising fears that it will become the second Chinese team to close its doors this year.

“Due to the difficulties known to the public, the Hebei FC training base cannot pay the electricity bills on time,” said a club statement.

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“In order to reduce operating costs, the club has decided to let players from the U-17, U-16, U-13 and U-12 teams take vacations from November 3.”

The announcement follows a report by China’s Xinhua News Agency that Hebei, owned by property developer China Fortune Land Development, has decided to cease general operations until new investments can be found.

Defending champion Jiangsu FC went out of business in February with owner Suning, the retail giant that also owns a majority stake in Italian club Inter Milan, seeking to cut costs. Tianjin Tianhai filed for bankruptcy in May 2020.

Hebei’s financial woes might not be helped by the Chinese Football Association’s decision to suspend the league from August to December to give the national team time to prepare for six World Cup qualifiers.

It’s unclear if the club will play when the league resumes next month.


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