This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Korean Joga Bonito, Part VI: FC Anyang - Successor of Anyang LG Cheetahs

Football Club Anyang (Hangul: 안양시민프로축구단) is a South Korean professional football club based in the city of Anyang, Gyeonggi Province. Founded in 2013, the team is a successor of Anyang LG Cheetahs (nowadays FC Seoul), the team which moved its home turf to Seoul in 2003 - ten years before the foundation of FC Anyang. 

Its home stadium is Anyang Stadium, located at 389 Pyeongchon Boulevard/Pyeongchon-daero, Bisan 3-dong 1023-beonji, Anyang Dongan-gu, Gyeonggi Province. The stadium with the capacity of 17,143 spectators is accessible by using KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 4 to Station 442: Beomgye Station. 

They currently compete in the K League Challenge, the second highest tier of Korean football league, founded in the same year of FC Anyang's Foundation. The team's motto is Esperanto: Civitano, Paradizo, Feliĉo meaning "Citizen, Paradise, Happiness (or Felicity)" and it is printed on the emblem.

FC Anyang's Foundation is traced back to the former Club in the Korea National League, Goyang KB Kookmin Bank FC. It was planned that, subject to meeting certain financial requirements, the winner of the National League in 2006 would be promoted to the K-League. However Goyang Kookmin Bank caused controversy by winning the league but declining to move up. 

Team owners Kookmin Bank cited a Korean law where banks in Korea were not allowed to be involved in profitable ventures outside of banking which of course a professional football team could be. However the more likely reason is the large financial losses that most K-League teams endure each year as the league struggles for sponsorship money and suffers through low crowd numbers. 

On top of that any National League champion seeking promotion from the second tier is required to pay an 'entry fee' of around 2 million US dollars simply to join the league. Goyang Kookmin Bank received several threats from the League ranging from being thrown out of the competition, to fines, to point deductions for the upcoming 2007 season. In the end the side received a points deduction penalty, to be split into ten point deductions in the first and second stages of the 2007 season.

Goyang KB FC was dissolved in 2012 and the former players of the club began a movement, together with Anyang Municipal Government to establish a brand new side in Anyang, with an initial goal of creating a municipal professional football team to participate in the 2013 K League Challenge. During the course of 2013 deals with several major sponsors, including KB Kookmin Bank and Gatorade Korea were negotiated. On October 10th 2012, the club's name, FC Anyang, was announced, and the club was officially founded on February 2nd, 2013.

FC Anyang made a debut in the firstly-introduced K League Challenge in 2013 and finished at fifth place with 45 points. The club managed to maintain the fifth place in K League Challenge 2014 season with 51 points. However, the club didn't qualify to K League Challenge play-offs for the promotion to the first tier of the league, K League Classic.