Yokohama FC

Yokohama FC (横浜FC, Yokohama Efushī) is a Japanese professional football club based in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The club currently plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country. The club was formed by fans of Yokohama Flügels as a protest against Flügels' merger with Yokohama Marinos in 1999, becoming the first supporter-owned professional sports team in Japan.[1]

Yokohama FC
横浜FC
Logo
Full nameYokohama FC
Nickname(s)Fulie
Founded1999; 22 years ago (1999)
GroundMitsuzawa Stadium
Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama
Capacity15,046
ChairmanYuji Onodera
ManagerTomonobu Hayakawa
LeagueJ1 League
2020J1 League, 15th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Since gaining J.League membership in 2001, Yokohama FC spent a long time in the second tier of the Japanese football league system. The club gained promotion to J.League Division 1 for 2007 season, as champions of J.League Division 2 in 2006, but were immediately relegated the following season. After twelve years in the J2 League, they returned to the top flight in the 2020 season, earning promotion the previous year.

HistoryEdit

 
Graphical timeline of Yokohama football clubs

Yokohama FC was formed in 1999 following the merger of Yokohama's two J.League clubs, the Flügels and the Marinos. Flügels supporters felt that their club had essentially been dissolved rather than merged with, so rejected the suggestion that they should start supporting Marinos – who had been their crosstown rivals. Instead, with money raised through donations from the general public and an affiliation with talent management company IMG, the former Flügels supporters founded the Yokohama Fulie Sports Club.[2] Following the socio model used by FC Barcelona, the Fulie Sports Club created Yokohama FC, the first professional sports team in Japan owned and operated by its supporters.[1]

For its first season in 1999, Yokohama FC hired former German national team and World Cup star Pierre Littbarski to be the manager and Yasuhiko Okudera, the first Japanese footballer to play professionally in Europe, to be the chairman.[3] The club attempted to gain entry directly into the professional J.League, but the Japan Football Association only permitted entry to the amateur Japan Football League (JFL), at the time the third level of the Japanese football league system, and ruled that the club would not be eligible for promotion into J.League Division 2 at the end of its first season. So, despite finishing as JFL champion in 1999, Yokohama FC finished as JFL champion again in 2000 before being promoted to J.League Division 2.[4]

The club spent the next 6 seasons in J.League Division 2 before finishing as champions in 2006 and gaining promotion to J.League Division 1. In 2007, just the ninth year of its existence, Yokohama FC played its first season in the top flight of Japanese football. After a poor season, the team were consigned to relegation with five games of the season still remaining. Despite their early relegation, Yokohama FC nevertheless decided the final outcome at the opposite end of the table; by defeating title contenders Urawa Red Diamonds on the last day of the season, Kashima Antlers secured the J.League Division 1 title.[5]

In 2018, Yokohama FC narrowly missed out on automatic promotion by goal difference. The team made it to the J2 promotion final, losing to Tokyo Verdy on an stoppage time winner. In 2019, Yokohama finished second in J2 and gained automatic promotion to J1.

Fight for promotionEdit

Although they had a dire season in 2005, ending 11th out of 12, they were in the top half of table throughout the 2006 season. On 26 November they finished in the top spot of the J2 League, and hence were finally promoted to the J. League 1.

This success story was so dramatic as to make people somewhat excited in Japan. Yokohama FC's financial situation was so poor that they didn't even possess their own football ground or a club house. Players did everything themselves including carrying the goal posts and washing the jerseys.

One of their players, Kazuyoshi Miura, is 54 and a former player, Atsuhiro Miura (one of their main players before his 2010 retirement) was 36 when he last played for the club. These players once played for the Japan national team.

They lost all pre-season matches, even against college students, then also the first official match of the year. After this, they suddenly changed the player-manager to a freshman with little experience named Takuya Takagi, who was 38. At the beginning of the season few expected them to become champions.

ColoursEdit

As they could not adopt directly Flügels' white and blue strip given its similarity to that of Marinos, Yokohama FC decided to adopt an all-cyan kit, after NKK SC, a former company club which had closed in 1994. NKK SC was based in Kawasaki and played most matches at Todoroki Athletics Stadium, but used Mitsuzawa Stadium on days when the other Kawasaki clubs at the time (Verdy Kawasaki, Toshiba and Fujitsu) used it.

Current playersEdit

As of 31 August 2021[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   JPN Issei Ouchi
2 DF   BRA Maguinho (on loan from Kawasaki Frontale)
3 DF   JPN Yutaro Hakamata
4 MF   JPN Hideto Takahashi
5 DF   BRA Gabriel
6 MF   JPN Tatsuki Seko
7 MF   JPN Takuya Matsuura
8 FW   JPN Kosuke Saito
9 FW   BRA Kléber
10 MF   JPN Shunsuke Nakamura
11 FW   JPN Kazuyoshi Miura (captain)
13 FW   JPN Keijiro Ogawa
14 FW   JPN Ryo Germain
15 MF   JPN Reo Yasunaga
17 MF   JPN Eijiro Takeda
19 DF   JPN Masahiko Inoha
21 GK   JPN Akinori Ichikawa
22 DF   JPN Katsuya Iwatake
No. Pos. Nation Player
23 DF   JPN Yota Maejima
24 DF   JPN Yuya Takagi
25 MF   JPN Ryo Tabei
26 DF   KOR Han Ho-gang
27 DF   JPN Daiki Nakashio
28 GK   JPN Haruki Saruta (on loan from Kashiwa Reysol)
30 MF   JPN Kohei Tezuka
31 FW   BRA Saulo Mineiro
33 MF   JPN Tomoki Kondo
37 MF   JPN Yusuke Matsuo
38 MF   BRA Arthur Silva
39 FW   JPN Kazuma Watanabe
44 GK   JPN Yuji Rokutan
45 DF   JPN Hayato Sugita
46 MF   JPN Taishin Yamazaki
47 DF   JPN Kensho Masuda
49 GK   GER Svend Brodersen
50 FW   BRA Felipe Vizeu (on loan from Udinese)

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   JPN Kyowaan Hoshi (at Matsumoto Yamaga)
DF   JPN Kakeru Kumagawa (at YSCC Yokohama)
FW   JPN Yuki Kusano (at Renofa Yamaguchi)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   JPN Sho Ito (at Matsumoto Yamaga)
MF   JPN Riku Furuyado (at Mito Hollyhock)
GK   JPN Yuta Minami (at Omiya Ardija)

Record as J.League memberEdit

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Teams Pos. Attendance/G J.League Cup Emperor's Cup
2001 J2 12 9th 3,007 2nd round 4th round
2002 12 12th 3,477 3rd round
2003 12 11th 3,743 3rd round
2004 12 8th 4,219 5th round
2005 18 11th 5,938 4th round
2006 13 1st 5,119 3rd round
2007 J1 18 18th 14,039 Group stage 5th round
2008 J2 15 10th 6,793 4th round
2009 18 16th 3,535 3rd round
2010 19 6th 5,791 3rd round
2011 20 18th 5,770 2nd round
2012 22 4th 6,039 3rd round
2013 22 11th 6,064 2nd round
2014 22 11th 5,146 2nd round
2015 22 15th 5,113 2nd round
2016 22 8th 4,892 Round of 16
2017 22 10th 5,967 2nd round
2018 22 3rd 6,141 3rd round
2019 22 2nd 7,061 3rd round
2020 J1 18 15th 3,559 Group stage Did not qualify
2021 20 tba Group stage 2nd round
Key

ManagersEdit

As of 23 February 2020.

HonoursEdit

Affiliated clubsEdit

  •   YFCMD – a professional football club based in Hong Kong who were once owned by Yokohama FC. Their new club name stands for Yokohama FC Modic.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ichiro Hirose (2014). スポーツ・マネジメント入門 [Introduction to Sport Management] (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. p. 123. ISBN 4492502602.
  2. ^ John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter (2013). Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup. Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 0415275636.
  3. ^ Kumi Kinohara (27 July 2000). "Yokohama FC struggling to survive despite JFL success". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Interview with Tomio Tsujino" (PDF) (in Japanese). Yokohama City. 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  5. ^ Andrew Mckirdy (2 December 2007). "Inspired Antlers squad captures J.League title". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  6. ^ "選手・スタッフ". Yokohama FC. Retrieved May 14, 2021.

External linksEdit