J. League 100 Year Plan club status

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J. League 100 Year Plan club status, Jei Rīgu hyakunen kōsō kurabu (Jリーグ百年構想クラブ?) is a status given to Japanese non-league football clubs. The applicant must have an intention to become a professional club and to join the professional league, J. League, that governs the top three levels of the Japanese football pyramid. Usually clubs from the fourth level, Japan Football League, which is the top tier for amateur clubs, apply for the status; however, it is open for all amateur clubs down to Prefectural leagues. The applications are reviewed and inspected by a committee formed by the league. Since 2014 season, the Associate Membership is the main criteria for J3 promotion. The system allows the League to identify the such clubs, to provide necessary resources/advices, and to ease the transition to the professionalism.

Former Associate Membership Systems[edit]

1993–1998[edit]

Originally, when the professional league formed in 1993 with ten clubs, the league's intention was to keep the number of clubs to 10 for at least two to three years, and then gradually increase the roster to 16 by adding a club or two in year-to-year basis. However, the league had underestimated the demands; there were far more clubs seeking top-flight football then the league have anticipated. Thus, the league adopted associate membership system for the clubs in then the second-tier Japan Football League. Just like the current system, associate clubs finishing in the top two were allowed to be promoted to the league, given that they have passed the final inspection by the league. Associate members also had right to participate in Yamazaki Nabisco Cup games and reserve league games.

This system has been abolished in 1998 with the establishment of J. League Division 2 and dissolution of old JFL. Three remaining associate members were admitted to J2 and Honda FC decided to maintain amateur status and joined the newly created JFL.

Year Applied Club Name Year Admitted
to J. League
Notes
1993 Bellmare Hiratsuka 1994 Promoted to J. League
Júbilo Iwata 1994 Promoted to J. League
Kashiwa Reysol 1995 Promoted to J. League
1994 Cerezo Osaka 1995 Promoted to J. League
Kyoto Purple Sanga 1996 Promoted to J. League
Tosu Futures 1999 (J2) Taken over by Sagan Tosu. Promoted to J1 in 2012
1995 Avispa Fukuoka 1996 Promoted to J. League
Vissel Kobe 1997 Promoted to J. League
1996 Consadole Sapporo 1998 Promoted to J. League
Brummell Sendai 1999 (J2) Promoted to Division 1 in 2002
1997 Kawasaki Frontale 1999 (J2) Promoted to Division 1 in 2000
Honda Motors Later withdrew the membership due to lack of support from company and community

2006–2013[edit]

After its establishment in 1999, J. League Division 2 became the frontier of J. League expansion, feeding from the simultaneously established Japan Football League. In their first seven years of co-existence, every club that applied for promotion was individually examined by the league. Five teams were promoted this way, but as the number of applicants increased over time, in October 2005 the JFA initiated the establishment of the new association membership system in order to provide an incentive for amateur clubs to obtain a sound economical and business basis necessary to J. League membership.

The criteria for such membership were developed by joint JFA–J. League committee in early 2006. They covered various aspects of the club development, with the particular stress on organizational stability, adequate infrastructure, and support from the local goverenment, sponsors, and community. Unlike the previous system, this membership has been targeted not only to JFL clubs, but to all amateurs club in the football pyramid, including Regional and Prefectural leagues.

Below is a list of criteria for associate membership in their last edition as of September 1, 2012.[1]

Club Organization
  • Must be organized as a public corporation or NPO solely devoted to football.
    • Company and university clubs do not qualify
    • At least half of the shares of stock must be Japanese ownership
  • Must hire at least three administrative employees, one of which must be in a managerial position.
  • Must have a proper payroll system in accordance with Japanese law.
  • Must complete an annual tax audit.
  • Must be financially feasible.
(Note: The league recommends ¥1.5 million of capital by promotion to J2 and 5 million by the end of the third year in J2.)
  • Must secure sponsorship of at least ¥1 million.
Home Town
  • Must be approved by respective Prefectural Football Association.
  • Must be approved by the hometown government in writing.
Home Stadium/Training Facility
  • It must have a capacity of at least 10,000 and a natural grass pitch (in lieu of this, the club must have plans to build a stadium to these minimum requirements).
  • It must be located in the proposed hometown.
  • It must have a press box and a conference room for pre- and post-match news conferences.
  • The club must secure training facilities within the proposed hometown.
Others
  • The club must currently play in JFL, Regional League, or Prefectural League.
  • The club must aim for admission to J. League.
  • The club must have plans for a youth system.

New associate membership system lasted for eight years and came to its logical finish after the number of J2 clubs had reached 22 (the original target) in 2012 season. The next year saw the establishment of J3 League which incorporated most of the remaining associate members.

Since 2006, 29 clubs have applied for the J. League associate member status and 25 have received it, though for many clubs more than one application was necessary. Of those 25 that received the status, 11 were promoted to J2; 9 more were admitted to J3 League in 2013; and 5 remaining members (along with three pending applications) transitioned to the new 100 Year Plan status in 2014. The table below summarizes the history of associate membership applications and J. League promotions/admissions. Promotions listed were to J2, unless indicated otherwise.

  • Grey – membership declined
  • Light green – remaining members, transformed into a 100 Year Plan status in 2014
Applied Club Name League Home Town Application
Results
Year Admitted
to J. League
Notes
August 2006 Rosso Kumamoto JFL Kumamoto, Kumamoto Approved 2007 Renamed to Roasso Kumamoto upon promotion to J2.
Tochigi SC JFL Utsunomiya, Tochigi Declined Reapplied in January 2007
January 2007 FC Gifu JFL Gifu, Gifu Approved 2007 Conditionally approved initially. Financial improvement required before promotion to J2.
Gainare Tottori JFL All cities/towns in Tottori Approved 2010
Tochigi SC JFL Utsunomiya, Tochigi Approved 2008
Perada Fukushima Tohoku League D2 Fukushima, Fukushima Declined Renamed to Fukushima United FC. Reapplied in June 2013
July 2007 Fagiano Okayama Chugoku League All cities/towns in Okayama Approved 2008 First Regional league club to be approved
January 2008 New Wave Kitakyushu JFL Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Approved 2009 Renamed to Giravanz Kitakyushu before promotion to J2
Kataller Toyama JFL Toyama, Toyama Approved 2008
FC Ryukyu JFL All cities/towns in Okinawa Declined Reapplied in January 2011
January 2009 Machida Zelvia JFL Machida, Tokyo Approved 2011 Relegated to JFL in 2012, re-admitted to J3 in 2013
V-Varen Nagasaki JFL All cities/towns in Nagasaki Approved 2012
January 2010 Matsumoto Yamaga JFL Matsumoto, Nagano Approved 2011
SC Sagamihara Kanagawa prefectural league D1 Sagamihara, Kanagawa Approved 2013 (J3) First Prefectural league club to be approved
April 2010 Zweigen Kanazawa JFL Kanazawa, Ishikawa Not accepted Incomplete documentation. Reapplied in January 2011
December 2010 Kamatamare Sanuki JFL All cities/towns in Kagawa Approved 2013
January 2011 FC Ryukyu JFL All cities/towns in Okinawa Declined Further improvement needed. Reapplied in June 2013
Zweigen Kanazawa JFL Kanazawa, Ishikawa Declined Further improvement needed. Reapplied in November 2012
November 2011 Nagano Parceiro JFL Nagano, Nagano Approved 2013 (J3)
November 2012 Zweigen Kanazawa JFL All cities/towns in Ishikawa Approved 2013 (J3)
Blaublitz Akita JFL All cities/towns in Akita Approved 2013 (J3)
June 2013 Veertien Kuwana Mie prefectural league D2 Kuwana, Mie Not accepted Incomplete documentation
YSCC Yokohama JFL Yokohama, Kanagawa Approved 2013 (J3)
Grulla Morioka Tohoku League D1 Morioka, Iwate Approved 2013 (J3) The only associate member to be admitted directly from Regional League skipping JFL participation
Renofa Yamaguchi Chūgoku League All cities/towns in Yamaguchi Approved Promoted to J3 in 2014
Fukushima United JFL Fukushima, Fukushima Approved 2013 (J3)
FC Ryukyu JFL All cities/towns in Okinawa Approved 2013 (J3)
Fujieda MYFC JFL Fujieda, Shizuoka Approved 2013 (J3)
Vanraure Hachinohe Tohoku League D1 Hachinohe, Aomori Approved
Tonan Maebashi Kantō League Maebashi, Gunma Approved
Azul Claro Numazu Tōkai League Numazu, Shizuoka Approved
Nara Club Kansai League D1 Nara, Nara Approved
MIO Biwako Shiga JFL Kusatsu, Shiga Pending Application transitioned to 100 Year Plan status
Tochigi Uva JFL Tochigi, Tochigi Pending Application transitioned to 100 Year Plan status, the status was granted in May 2014
Suzuka Rampole Tōkai League Suzuka, Mie Pending Application transitioned to 100 Year Plan status

Listed is the league the club participated at the time of application, not necessary the league that the club currently belongs to.

100 Year Plan status (since 2014)[edit]

For the short time after the establishment of J3 League in 2014, the league designated J3 clubs as "associate members," as opposed to "full members" of J1 and J2. In order to avoid confusion with associate membership system for future participants, it was decided to change the name of the latter status to "100 Year Plan" status. The J. League later abolished the associate membership naming for J3 clubs, but the new name for future members remained.

Participation Criteria[edit]

The criteria for the 100 Year Plan status are largely similar to associate membership of the past, though they are generally more relaxed because of less strict regulations for J3 participation in comparison with J2. Below are the criteria for 2014 season.[2]

Club Organization
  • Must be organized as a public corporation or NPO solely devoted to football and exist in this status for no less than one year
    • The majority of the shares or stock must be Japanese owned
  • Must employ at least four administrative employees, one of whom must have managerial position
  • Must have proper payroll system according to Japanese law
  • Must have proper financial management and conduct annual tax audit
  • Must hold intellectual rights for the club name, logo, and all associated trademarks
Home Town and Stadium/Training Facility
  • Must be approved by respective Prefectural Football Association
  • Must be approved by the hometown government in writing
  • Home stadium must be located in the proposed hometown
  • Must secure training facilities within the proposed hometown
Others
  • Must currently play in JFL, Regional League, or Prefectural League
  • Must aim for eventual admission to J. League
  • Must have a working soccer school/youth system that exists for no less than one year

Criteria for J3 promotion[edit]

The 100 Year Plan status alone is only a prerequisite for J3 promotion, and the club must comply with additional requirements in order to receive J3 license necessary for promotion.[3]

  • Must hold a 100 Year Plan status
  • Must have a stadium that complies with J3 standards (capacity 5,000 or above) and passes the league examination
  • Must pass a J3 licensing examination by the league
  • Must finish within top 4 of JFL, and either 1st or 2nd among other 100 Year Plan holders
  • Must have average attendance of home games no less than 2,000 spectators, with significant effort demonstrated to reach 3,000
  • Must have annual revenue of at least ¥150 million, and no excessive debt

Application History[edit]

  • Green – promoted to J. League
  • Gold – current members
  • Grey – membership declined
  • White – application pending
Applied Club Name League Home Town Application
Results
Year Admitted
to J. League
Notes
June 2014 Renofa Yamaguchi Chūgoku League All cities/towns in Yamaguchi Approved 2014 Former associate member
Vanraure Hachinohe Tohoku League D1 Hachinohe, Aomori Approved Former associate member
Tonan Maebashi Kantō League Maebashi, Gunma Approved Former associate member
Azul Claro Numazu Tōkai League Numazu, Shizuoka Approved Former associate member
Nara Club Kansai League D1 Nara, Nara Approved Former associate member
Tochigi Uva JFL Tochigi, Tochigi Approved Application transitioned from associate membership
MIO Biwako Shiga JFL Kusatsu, Shiga Pending Application transitioned from associate membership
Suzuka Rampole Tōkai League Suzuka, Mie Pending Application transitioned from associate membership
November 2014 Kagoshima United JFL Kagoshima, Kagoshima Pending

Listed is the league the club participated at the time of application, not necessary the league that the club currently belongs to.

Current members
Past members

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jリーグ準加盟規程" [Regulations for J. League associate membership]. J. League. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Jリーグ百年構想クラブ規程" [Regulations for J. League 100 Year Plan club status]. J. League. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  3. ^ J リーグ規約 [J. League Terms] (in Japanese), J. League, February 2014, retrieved 24 February 2014 

External links[edit]