Shenzhen Ruby F.C.

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Shenzhen Ruby
Shēnzhèn Hóngzuān
Full name Shenzhen Ruby Football Club
Nickname(s) Youth Army, Phoenix, International Arms,
Founded 26 January 1994; 20 years ago (26 January 1994)
Ground Bao'an Stadium,
Shenzhen, China
Ground Capacity 40,000
Chairman Wan Hongwei
Manager Li Yi
League China League One
2013 5th

Shenzhen Ruby Football Club (simplified Chinese: 深圳红钻; traditional Chinese: 深圳紅鑽; pinyin: Shēnzhèn Hóngzuān), previously named Shenzhen Asia Travel(or Lejun),Shenzhen Jianlibao, and Shenzhen Ping'an, is a Chinese Jia League football club, playing at the Bao'an Stadium in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. They are owned by Wan Hongwei, who bought out the club in 2009 while their current head coach is Philippe Troussier.


Shenzhen football club was founded in Jan 26th 1994 by Chinese football legends including Rong Zhixing and Zeng Xuelin, as an attempt for professional football at Shenzhen as a pioneering and open city for any innovative project during that era. It was one of the earliest professional football clubs in Guangdong, originally owned by memberships, later turned to shareholding.[1]

Under the first ever head coach Hu Zhigang, with players from all over the country, the club won two consecutive promotions and champions and enter by-then top tier Jia A League from bottom tier Yi League using only two years, a same remarkable "Shenzhen speed" in football. However they returned to second tier after only one year.

In January 1997, Ping An Insurance took over the club and renamed it to "Shenzhen Ping'an". They immediately won back to Jia A as the runner-up of Jia B.

With the club again struggled with relegation fight, South Korean football legend Cha Bum-Kun was appointed as the first ever foreign head coach in 1998 summer. Cha consolidated the club's status at top tier with two successful relegation escapes. Meanwhile the club made a long-term combined signing of 14 hot prospects from Locomotive 1st team as fresh blood, among them included future legend Li Weifeng and Li Yi.

In 2000 season, newly appointed head coach the eccentric Brazilian Edson Tavares caught 6 players with suspicious prostitution in team hotel, with this internal incident leaked to the media becoming an open scandal, the club relieved Tavares of his post as scapegoat. General manager Zhu Guanghu took over in May and started his regime during which Shenzhen became a strong power placing 5th in 2001, and then runner-up in 2002(though through a joking poker sortition as a formal FA judgment process, in which coach Xie Feng picked card 6 and stated it as 9 and thus won a runner-up back for Shenzhen) as the best result in Jia A League.

Jianlibao Corp bought over the club before 2003 and renamed again with its brand. The club won 4th place in a well-improving 2003 season with the joining of internationals like Yang Chen freshly back from Germany, and Zheng Bin answering the summon of Zhu, his coach back in international youth team. Future long term international player and captain Zheng Zhi also completed his conversion to a playmaker. Despite severe financial problems leaving players unpaid for seven months, Shenzhen Jianlibao sensationally won the first ever Chinese Super League title in 2004.[2] By-then head coach Zhu Guanghu was subsequently awarded the coach of the year award and was appointed head coach of the national team.

Since Zhu's departure for the national team, in the following 2005 season the team has fallen from grace and only managed a twelfth placing (third from bottom) in the league. The new head coach was Chi Shangbin, who resigned during only the early stage of the season,due to poor relationship with the squad, especially from then-captain Li Weifeng and senior players like Li Yi and Yang Chen. Chi was unhappy due to the senior players' influential control over the team and their unprofessional behavior and discipline. He tried to regain control of the squad with his strictness, but most of the players reacted fiercely by training and playing even more poorly. Li Weifeng punched Chi's office window; Yang Chen, who is already a relatively gentleman player, got upset too and repeatedly expose the uselessness of Chi's policy to media. The by-then new owner Yang Saixin had to let Chi go. Both of them later infamously and sensationally labeled the troublemakers as "QiuBa"(Football-lord). Throughout the chaos, Shenzhen were still able to reach the AFC Champions League semi-finals after defeating Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli despite losing the first leg in Jeddah. They were later heavily defeated by UAE champions Al Ain FC 6-0 in the semi-finals.[3]

In the next 2 years the club survived merely on sponsorship and selling the best players for funding while the board lacked interest and cash for investment. Under domestic head coaches, the youngsters from youth teams founded back in JianLiBao era stepped up in time, and made it to avoid relegations with help of key foreign players like Marek Zając and his compatriot Bogdan Zając . After a heavy defeat at home losing 1-4 to the champion Changchun Yatai at the last match of 2007 season, owner Yang Saixin claimed that he was "fed up" and wanted to sell the club.

With no buyers and bids the club went into administration under Shenzhen FA. Unexpectedly after only one match head coachMai Chao left under the reason of "withdrawal by GuangZhou FA where his working registration was, to manage the FA youth team". Long-serving youth coach Zhang Zengqun took over, later joined in backstage by former Foshan and Shenzhen Kejian head coach Wang Baoshan as technical consultant. With Wuhan withdrawing from the Super League during mid-season leaving only one relegation spot, Shenzhen beat the only relegation rival Liaoning in both meetings and avoided relegation with a strong run till the end of the season. Thanks to the crucial goal scorers like Johnson, nicknamed "Angolan the Great" by fans, who surprisingly won the silver boot of the league that season with 13 goals; and veteran Song Lihui who scored against both two former clubs of him(Liaoning and Shandong) to secure live-saving 6 points.

On January 21, 2009, Shenzhen F.C. was reportedly bought out of administration by a "Hong Kong based investor" who gained control by acquiring 51% of the club's stock, with the remaining 49% to be transferred in the next 6 months for a complete takeover, alongside former player Fan Yuhong who also brought in his academy at Nanshan, Shenzhen to become the club's youth side . Fan became the new managerial director and also acting-head coach for a more hands-on approach.[4] On February 28, 2009, Fan Yuhong revealed that the new owners of the club were two main shareholders of China Motion, a publicly listed company in Hong Kong. However, this later turned out to be fake news. Shenzhen were also in talks with a new kit advertisement and naming right sponsor, which would help further stabilize and secure the club's finance giving the takeover not yet finished, but only got a small deal after halfway through the season.

During mid season, Wan Wongwei, rumoured a representative of a Singapore based investment company instead of previously stated as from Hong Kong, revealed himself as the real investor and chairman of the club. He also revealed the foundation of Ruby(HongZuan) company, founded by him and other shareholders to run the club and renamed the club as Shenzhen Ruby FC. After a 6-1 heavy defeat to GuangZhou, Fan was sacked. Former player and coach Xie Feng was appointed as spearhead of the possible return of the legendary Zhu Guanghu, but Zhu turned to wealthier Shaanxi Chanba instead. As Xie Feng tightened the defense, and crucial reinforcements from the transfer market including Hernan Barcos, Mao Jianqing, Marko Zoric and Chen Jie, the team impressively had a 10 match unbeaten run towards the end of season and avoided relegation, despite a controversial 3-point deduction from the FA for wearing the wrong colour kit and in the subsequently delayed match versus Shanghai Shenhua.

Former Cyprus international Siniša Gogić was appointed as head coach for 2010 season. The attacking and passionate Serbian brought a roller-coaster run combined with an unbeaten start even once reached the top of the table, and consecutive losts sliding towards relegation fight till the last match of the season. Up to 8 foreign players including various internationals Chris Killen, Aleksandar Živković, Vyacheslav Hleb, Ivan Vicelich and Hussein Alaa Hussein all contributed throughout the season and saved the club from relegation for the 6th consecutive season. Off the pitch Ruby Company also announced the 3 years sponsorship and cooperation deal from Kweichow Moutai Company worth more than 100 million RMB. The club added "Moutai" in its name once again as naming sponsor.

From a meeting during 2011 AFC Asian Cup, Wan Hongwei signed former Japanese international head coach Philippe Troussier with luxurious 3-year contract under the financial sponsorship from Moutai Company. However Troussier's youthful revolution turned out to be too radical for the club which lost the home ground Shenzhen City Stadium and training ground to 2011 Summer Universiade for a long time. Despite the refreshing ball passing and possessing tactic, Troussier's youngsters suffered dreadfully record-breaking 6 consecutive matches losing start(including a cup tier) at temporary home at Huizhou and hardly climbed out of relegation scramble ever again. Returning to Shenzhen and a splendid new home at Bao'an Stadium, the team started to slide deeper after the last win of the season against Jiangsu, in the end of August. With experienced and mature players mostly "banished" by Troussier to the bench or the stand for various reasons, the newly promoted youth players collapsed in front of the enormous pressure of relegation dual. Unlike the past campaign, this time "the relegation escapist" couldn't get hold of victory from crucial 6-point matches facing direct relegation rivals, Nanchang and Chengdu, even losing one. With still one match to go, Shenzhen Ruby was confirmed relegated from the top tier League after 14 years in it, later infamously recorded with the least ever points(23),not a single match win from away(4 draws and 11 loses), most conceded(53),most match lost(17), and the first former top tier champion to relegate since the foundation of professional football league in China.

Troussier was given once again faith for 2012 season in Chinese Jia League, and have the squad, staff structure and pre-season arrangement almost completely changed as he demanded, almost as the first real football manager of a football club in China. But an unpromising start again disappointed most fans and caused farther upset and conflict left from the previous season. Before the 4th round home match versus Chongqing FC, in a local TV interview Troussier fired out against criticism and doubt from fans and urged them "not to come to the game or him". Despite Shenzhen Ruby won the match with former players Li Fei and Chris Killen scored for Chongqing FC in their first return to Shenzhen after being left out of Troussier's favour and forced to leave, physical confrontation took place after the match among fans, staffs, players and even Troussier himself.

Shenzhen Ruby continues with poor performance on away games, with Troussier's passing tactic lacking penetration on mediocre pitch condition at away ground and sitting back opposition. Off the pitch Troussier's eccentric personality and temperament once again destroyed the relationship with the squad and staffs selected by his own. With promotion hope vanished after defeat to Chengdu on Aug 25, Troussier was sent on leave back to France, which the club and himself insisted through formal statements that it was a "regular holiday under the contract". Soon two of his close staffs left the club, and assistant manager Patrick Aussems took charge as caretaker. In fact during the whole September the board had been seeking possibility to part company with Troussier without compensating him a large amount of fee according to his luxurious contract(1M euro per year), the "holiday" was a move partially for humiliating him so he would resign out of his arrogance, saving the board the compensation. By the end of September, Troussier finally returned to Shenzhen after delaying for once. Upon his return the board accepted his proposal to let Aussems continue to manage 1st team till the end of 2012, while he would go backstage for the preparation for next season. That was a move of him to keep himself under contract and payment, and out of any more potential risk or trouble from managing, until he would receive a compensation to leave.

Aussems and fitness coach Christian Jahan gave a refreshing finish of the season, earning 11 points in 7 matches, but not enough to convince the board for permanent appointment. By the end of the year, based on the fact that the board could't afford to sack but still need Troussier's fame for media exposure and sponsor search, a new agreement with Troussier is reached by announcing his continuous management for the another season and reforming the backroom as he wanted. Aussems and Jahan, who were invited in by Troussier to join him at the first place, were released after their relationship with Troussier deteriorated after caretaking the team as the board appointed during the "holiday incident". Troussier brought in Eric Garcin and Rabah Ben Larbi as replacement backroom staffs. His personal assistant David Camhi also returned after an attempt of resignation during "holiday incident" was never accepted by the board.

Name History[edit]

  • 1994-95: Shenzhen FC (深圳足球俱乐部)
  • 1996: Shenzhen Feiyada (深圳飞亚达)
  • 1997-98: Shenzhen Ping'an (深圳平安)
  • 1999: Shenzhen Ping'an Insurance (深圳平安保险)
  • 2000-01: Shenzhen Ping'an Kejian (深圳平安科健)
  • 2002: Shenzhen Ping'an Insurance (深圳平安保险)
  • 2003-05: Shenzhen Jianlibao (深圳健力宝)
  • 2006-07: Shenzhen Kingway (深圳金威)
  • 2007-08: Shenzhen Xiangxue Shangqingyin (深圳香雪上清饮)
  • 2009: Shenzhen Asia Travel(Lejun)FC (深圳亞旅(樂君)足球俱乐部)
  • 2009-10: Shenzhen Ruby F.C. (深圳红钻)
  • 2010-: Shenzhen Moutai Ruby F.C. (深圳红钻)


  • Chinese Super League Champions: 2004
  • CSL Cup Runners-up: 2004, 2005
  • Jia A Runners-up: 2002
  • Jia B Champions: 1995
  • Jia B Runners-up: 1997
  • Yi League Champions: 1994


  • As of the end of 2013 season

All-time League rankings

Season 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Division 3 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2
Position 1 1 11 2 12 12 9 5 2 4 1 12 11 14 12 11 12 16 7 5


Current squad[edit]

As of 10 March 2014. [5]

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

No. Position Player
1 China GK Zhang Xunwei
2 China DF Geng Xiaoshun
4 China DF Liu Shuai
5 China MF Ren Peng
6 China MF Ling Sihao
7 China MF Wang Hongliang
8 China DF Du Longquan
10 Senegal FW Babacar Gueye
12 China GK Wei Jian
13 China FW Yu Le
14 China MF Wang Zihua
15 China DF Lü Zheng
16 China MF Chen Long
17 China MF Mou Shantao
18 China MF Niu Xiuchen
19 China FW Wei Chao
No. Position Player
20 China MF Wang Dong
21 China MF Zhou Shengyuan
22 China MF Tan Binliang
23 China MF Liu Dewei
24 Italy DF Giuseppe Aquaro
25 China MF Lai Jin
26 China DF Wang Weilong
27 China MF Zhang Guofeng
28 China FW Yu Shuai
29 China GK Qiu Kebei
31 China MF Li Fei
32 Brazil MF Bruno
33 China DF Huang Xin
34 China MF Hu Jinhao
37 China MF Fei Yu

Reserve squad[edit]

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

No. Position Player
41 China GK Chen Guolong

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach China Li Yi
Assistant coach China Niu Li
Goalkeeping coach China Liu Wenbin
Fitness coach China Wang Hongwei


Notable players[edit]

Had international caps for their respective countries.