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Guangzhou R&F Football Club is a professional football club that plays in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team is based in Guangzhou, Guangdong and their home stadium is the Yuexiushan Stadium which has a seating capacity of 18,000. They are owned by the Chinese property developers R&F Properties who took charge in June 2011. The club's English name R&F is short for "Rich" (富) and "Force" (力).

Guangzhou R&F
Guǎngzhōu Fùlì
广州富力
Guangzhou R&F FC logo.png
Full name Guangzhou R&F Football Club
广州富力足球俱乐部
Nickname(s) Blue Lions[1]
Founded 1986; 32 years ago (1986), as Shenyang Football Team
Ground Yuexiushan Stadium,
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Ground Capacity 18,000[2]
Manager Dragan Stojković
League Chinese Super League
2017 Super League, 5th
Website Club website
Current season
Guangzhou R&F F.C.
Traditional Chinese 廣州富力
Simplified Chinese 广州富力

The club was founded in 1986 in Shenyang as Shenyang Ginde FC (simplified Chinese: 沈阳金德; traditional Chinese: 瀋陽金德; pinyin: Shěnyáng Jīndé). They played in the 55,000-seat Shenyang Wuilihe Stadium (五里河体育场), until they moved to Changsha in 2007 to reside in the Helong Stadium. American sportswear and sports equipment company MAZAMBA took over the club in 2010, and relocated the club to Shenzhen in February 2011. Their ownership was brief, and by June 2011 Chinese property developers Guangzhou R&F gained ownership of the club and moved them to Guangzhou. The club had their most successful season in 2014 as they finished third in the league and qualified for the 2015 AFC Champions League.[3]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The club was founded in 1986 by the local Shenyang government sports body to take part in the Chinese football league system. The club was named "Shenyang" (沈阳). The team started at the bottom of the league system by playing in the second division. They were promoted to the 1988 Chinese Jia-A League quickly after the league expanded and Liaoning FC was ineligible to field their reserve team in the same division. The club was relegated after only one season.[4] With the following campaigns the club mostly remained within the second tier, except for a short foray in the 1992 Chinese Jia-A League campaign; however, again they were relegated after only one season.

By the 1994 league season the entire Chinese football league system had become professional. The team were allowed to gather sponsorship and rename themselves Shenyang Liuyao (沈阳东北六药), and were allowed to join the top tier due to their 1992 membership.[5] When the team were relegated again at the end of the season they rename themselves Shenyang Huayang (沈阳华阳) and then Shenyang Haishi (沈阳海狮, literally Shenyang Sealions) in 1996. Again the club won promotion to the top tier; however, unlike before they were able to avoid relegation. This was to be the beginning of the club's establishment within the league, though the team benefitted from several seasons where there was no relegation while the league expanded. In 2001 the club was taken over by Ginde Plastic Pipe Industry Group, a subsidiary of the Hongyuan Group and changed its name to Shenyang Ginde (沈阳金德). In 2007 the club's homeground Shenyang Wuilihe Stadium (五里河体育场) was demolished. While it was expected that the club move to another stadium within Shenyang, especially the Shenyang Olympic Sports Center Stadium, a deal did not go through and the club moved to Changsha in Hunan and changed their name to Changsha Ginde (长沙金德).

After Changsha Ginde were relegated to League One at the end of the 2010 league season, the club was purchased by MAZAMBA and moved into the Shenzhen Stadium in the city of Shenzhen, Guangdong in February 2011. To represent this change the owners changed the club's name to Shenzhen Phoenix and changed the home kit from sky blue to green.[6] By May 2011 the club was exposed as having serious financial problems and were struggling to pay their players and their hotel accommodation.[7]

History as Guangzhou R&FEdit

In serious doubt of completing the 2011 season, Shenzhen Phoenix was put up for sale. The club was bought by Chinese property developers Guangzhou R&F who moved the club to the Yuexiushan Stadium in Guangzhou and changed the club's colours back to blue.[8] Under the new ownership results significantly improved and the club gained promotion back into the top tier at the end of the 2011 China League One season. The team finished the league in seventh, and the club's owners decided to commit their long-term future to the club by establishing a football school in Meizhou.[9] The start of the 2013 Chinese Super League season, however, the club struggled in the league and the manager Sérgio Farias was fired. Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was appointed to replace him on June 4, 2013, and given a 19-month contract.[10] Eriksson’s first full season would see the club finish third, its highest league finish, and qualify for the Asian Champions League for the first time. Moroccan striker Abderazzak Hamdallah was a key player for the team, scoring 22 times in 22 appearances. However, manager Eriksson left at the end of his contract and moved to Shanghai SIPG who had finished fifth that year.[3]

On January 2, 2015, the club announced that Cosmin Contra would be their new manager.[11] Contra coached the club in their maiden appearance in the Asian Champions League, coming through the preliminary stages against Warriors FC and Central Coast Mariners to earn a place in the group stage.[12] However, despite an away victory over Gamba Osaka, Guangzhou R&F were eliminated at the group stage.[13] The club’s league form was also poor and Contra was sacked on July 22. Li Bing was installed as caretaker manager.[14] There were more changes as Korean defensive midfielder Park Jong-woo and the injured and unsettled Hamdallah also left the club mid-season. Hamdallah only scored three goals in 2015, making him the club's all-time leading foreign scorer at the time with 25, one ahead of Yakubu Aiyegbeni. The disruption continued as R&F were forced to play some of their home matches at Guangzhou's University City Stadium whilst Yuexiushan was being refurbished, just as in 2012.[15] Guangzhou R&F announced Dragan Stojković as their new manager on 24 August and handed the former Yugoslav international a contract to the end of the 2017 season.[16] Stojkovic preserved R&F’s top flight status as they finished 14th out of 16 teams in 2015.

In July 2016, R&F signed Israeli international Eran Zahavi from Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. Whilst home stadium Yuexiushan was being refurbished, R&F played their opening home games in 2017 at the Guangdong Provincial People's Stadium.[17] Stojkovic's attacking style of play and Zahavi's goals led R&F to finish fifth in the CSL in 2017. There was double disappointment on the final day of the season however as the club fell just short of qualifying for the ACL and Zahavi missed out on breaking the single season CSL scoring record by just one goal. However, his 27 goals earned him the 2017 golden boot.[18]

Name historyEdit

  • 1986–1993: Shenyang (沈阳)
  • 1994: Shenyang Liuyao (沈阳东北六药)[5]
  • 1995: Shenyang Huayang (沈阳华阳)
  • 1996–2001: Shenyang Haishi (沈阳海狮)
  • 2001–2006: Shenyang Ginde (沈阳金德)
  • 2007–2010: Changsha Ginde (长沙金德)
  • 2011:Shenzhen Phoenix (深圳凤凰)[6]
  • 2011–:Guangzhou R&F (广州富力)[8]

RivalriesEdit

The club took part in the Liaoning Derby, which was a regional fixture contested against Dalian Football Club and Liaoning FC while the club was located in Shenyang.[19] The tie against Liaoning FC was the more intimate affair because the clubs shared the Shenyang People's Stadium in the 1994 league season compared to the Dalian fixture, which historically saw few meaningful clashes. At the end of the 2006 league season the club left this derby when they moved out of Shenyang.

When the club moved to Guangzhou they soon formed a rivalry with Guangzhou Evergrande, which is often referred to as the Canton derby.[20] The first derby was played at Yuexiushan Stadium in a league match on March 16, 2012 and Guangzhou R&F won 2–0 at home against the reigning league champions.[21] The venue was significant because it had been Guangzhou Evergrande's home ground. However, the two club owners, Zhang Li and Xu Jiayin, do not view the derby with hostility and on the return fixture were seen enjoying a meal together instead of watching the game.[22][23]

Current squadEdit

As of 16 July 2018 [24]

First teamEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Cheng Yuelei
3   DF Duško Tošić
4   MF Zhang Gong
5   MF Zhang Jiaqi (on loan from Guangzhou Evergrande)
6   MF Cai Haojian
7   MF Eran Zahavi
8   MF Júnior Urso
9   FW Chang Feiya
10   MF Renatinho
11   DF Ding Haifeng
16   FW Li Rui
17   DF Zhang Chenlong
18   DF Yi Teng
19   DF Jiang Jihong
20   DF Tang Miao
22   DF Zheng Zhiming
No. Position Player
23   MF Lu Lin (Captain)
24   FW Mai Jiajian
25   GK Han Feng
26   FW Ma Junliang
27   MF Zhang Jiajie
29   FW Xiao Zhi
30   MF Wang Peng (on loan from Gondomar)
32   MF Chen Zhizhao
34   DF Wang Xin
35   MF Li Tixiang
36   DF Huang Zhengyu
37   MF Li Yuyang
38   MF Chen Yajun
39   GK Shen Shuaishuai
40   DF Chen Weiming

Reserve teamEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
31   MF Wang Jia'nan
41   DF Liu Jiale
42   DF Liang Zhanchong
43   FW Huang Zihao
44   FW Fang Jinzhao
45   GK Long Wenhao
46   DF Deng Zhiyao
47   MF Pan Jiajun
48   GK Chen Zirong
No. Position Player
49   FW Huang Jingbin
50   DF Zhang Jianjun
51   MF Zhang Chaoqun
52   MF Yao Jialin
56   MF Deng Yanlin
57   MF Chen Fuhai
58   DF Liang Yongfeng
59   MF Tan Chun Lok

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  GK Pei Chensong (at Hainan Boying until 31 December 2018)
  GK Ji Xiangzheng (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
  DF Zhao Ming (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
  DF Wang Erduo (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
  MF Hou Junjie (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
No. Position Player
  MF Ye Chugui (at Shenzhen F.C. until 31 December 2018)
  MF He Zilin (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
  MF Wang Xinhui (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
  FW Liang Zheyu (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2019)
  FW Bruninho (at R&F (Hong Kong) until 30 June 2018)

Club officialsEdit

Senior staffEdit

Position Staff
Chairman   Zhang Li (张力)
Vice Chairman   Huang Shenghua (黄盛华)
General Manager   Zhang Bin (章彬)
Vice General Manager   Guo Nengpei (郭能培)

Source:[citation needed]

Coaching and medical staffEdit

First teamEdit

Position Staff
Head coach   Dragan Stojković
Assistant coach   Dejan Govedarica
Fitness coach   Katsuhito Kinoshi
Fitness coach   Divan Augustyn
Goalkeeper coach   Huang Hongtao
Team leader   Huang Jun
Team physicians   Marco van der Steen
  Mai Zhiyuan
  Fan Bihua
Performance manager   Bito Wu
Interpreters   Hong Wenjie
  Weng Zhanhong

Source:Guangzhou R&F F.C.

Reserve teamEdit

Position Staff
Head coach   Bito Wu
Assistant coach   Milan Dimoski
Assistant coach   Deng Bingxiang
Fitness coach   Lin Jianwei
Team leader   Jing Yongjian
Team physician   Raldy van Haastert

Source:Guangzhou R&F F.C.

AcademyEdit

Position Staff
Academy director   Katsuhito Kinoshi
Academy coach   Mitsunori Yabuta
  Tsuyoshi Yoshitake
  Yuki Fujimoto
  Shiro Kikuhara
  Ryu Hirose
  Daichi Suzuki
  Hiroshi Yoshida

Source:Guangzhou R&F F.C.

Managerial historyEdit

As of 24 Auguest 2016.[25][26]

HonoursEdit

LeagueEdit

Runners-up (2): 1991, 2011

ResultsEdit

All-time League rankingsEdit

As of the end of 2017 season.[28][29]

Year Div Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Pos. FA Cup Super Cup League Cup AFC Att./G Stadium
1986 2 7 4 1 DNQ  –  –
1987 3 7 3 1 2 NH  –  –
1988 1 20 4 7 9 17 17 0 19 17 NH  –  –
1989 2 22 5 12 5 20 18 1 27 9 NH  –  –
1990 2 22 6 10 6 19 16 3 28 7 DNQ  –  –
1991 2 18 8 7 3 23 18 5 19 1 RU QF  –  –
1992 1 14 1 1 12 8 36 −28 3 8 3 R1  –  –
1993 2 5 1 0/1 3 5 9 −4 2 5 1 NH  –  –
1994 1 22 1 9 12 16 39 −23 11 11 NH  –  – 5,591 Shenyang People's Stadium
1995 2 22 6 8 8 22 28 −6 26 8 R1 DNQ  – Shenyang People's Stadium
1996 2 22 6 8 8 24 23 1 26 7 R1 DNQ  – Shenyang People's Stadium
1997 2 22 9 8 5 37 28 9 35 3 R1 DNQ  – Shenyang People's Stadium
1998 1 26 7 10 9 19 28 −9 31 10 R2 DNQ  – 15,077 Shenyang People's Stadium
1999 1 26 5 13 8 28 32 −4 28 11 R1 DNQ  – 11,923 Shenyang People's Stadium
2000 1 26 8 10 8 35 32 3 34 7 QF DNQ  – 35,615 Wulihe Stadium
2001 1 26 2 1 23 23 69 −46 7 14 4 R2 DNQ  – 12,000 Wulihe Stadium
2002 1 28 8 10 10 34 34 0 34 11 R1 DNQ  – 14,500 Wulihe Stadium
2003 1 28 11 10 7 35 31 4 43 5 SF DNQ  – 18,857 Wulihe Stadium
2004 1 22 7 5 10 23 29 −6 26 8 R4 NH R1 5,000 Wulihe Stadium
2005 1 26 4 7 15 19 43 −24 18 13 4 R1 NH R1 2,077 Wulihe Stadium
2006 1 28 6 8 14 22 43 −21 26 13 R2 NH NH 2,750 Wulihe Stadium
2007 1 28 8 10 10 17 24 −7 34 10 NH NH NH 10,571 Helong Stadium
2008 1 30 7 13 10 28 36 −8 34 11 NH NH NH 6,645 Helong Stadium
2009 1 30 6 15 9 23 31 −8 33 14 NH NH NH 8,498 Helong Stadium
2010 1 30 6 12 12 24 42 −18 30 16 NH NH NH 10,152 Helong Stadium
2011 2 26 13 8 5 36 27 9 47 RU R2 NH NH Dongguan Nancheng Stadium
Yuexiushan Stadium
2012 1 30 13 3 14 47 49 −2 42 7 R4 DNQ NH 8,460 Yuexiushan Stadium
Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center Central Stadium
2013 1 30 11 7 12 45 47 −2 40 6 R4 DNQ NH 10,384 Yuexiushan Stadium
2014 1 30 17 6 7 67 39 28 57 3 R4 DNQ NH 11,487 Yuexiushan Stadium
2015 1 30 8 7 15 35 41 −6 31 14 R4 DNQ NH Group 7,989 Yuexiushan Stadium
2016 1 30 11 7 12 47 50 −3 40 6 SF DNQ NH 9,831 Yuexiushan Stadium
2017 1 30 15 7 8 59 46 13 52 5 QF DNQ NH 9,904 Yuexiushan Stadium
Guangdong Provincial People's Stadium
  • ^1 in group stage
  • ^2 Liaoning B team promoted to 1 level, but according to CFA rules a club could only enter 1 team in top level so that Senyang replaced Liaoning B's place in 1 level
  • ^3 Joins 1994 Jia-A League as 1992 member
  • ^4 no relegation

Key

International resultsEdit

Guangzhou R&F played in the Asian Champions League in 2015. They beat Singaporean side Warriors FC and Australian team Central Coast Mariners in the qualifying rounds but were knocked-out in the group stage.

R&F (Hong Kong)Edit

In August 2016 it was announced that R&F had entered a satellite team into the Hong Kong Premier League. Players registered for the Chinese Super League are ineligible to play in the Hong Kong Premier League, and vice versa.[30] R&F (Hong Kong) played their home matches at the Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground during the first season. The following year, they were permitted to play their home matches at Yanzigang Stadium in Guangzhou under the condition that all away teams' travelling expenses would be covered by R&F.[31]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit