|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2013)|
|Full name||Yokohama F.C.|
|Manager||Motohiro Yamaguchi (2012- )|
|League||J. League Division 2|
|Website||Club home page|
The club was formed in 1999, following the merger of the city's two J. League clubs, Yokohama Flügels and Yokohama Marinos the previous year. Flügels supporters, whose club was essentially dissolved, rejected the suggestion that they should start supporting Marinos, their crosstown rivals. Instead, with money raised through donations from the general public and an affiliation with IMG, the talent management company, the former Flügels supporters founded the Yokohama Fulie Sports Club. Following the socio model used by FC Barcelona, the Fulie Sports Club created Yokohama F.C., the first professional sports team in Japan owned and operated by its supporters.
For its first season in 1999, Yokohama F.C. hired former German 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. Despite attempts to win straight entry into the J. League, the Japan Football Association only permitted the team to enter the Japan Football League and ruled that the club would not be eligible for promotion to J2 at the end of its first season. After two seasons as JFL champions, the team was promoted to the J2 Division of the J. League.
The club spent the next 6 seasons in J2, finishing mid-table between 2001 and 2005. However, Yokohama F.C. won the J2 championship in 2006 and gained promotion to J. League Division 1 in the process. In 2007, Yokohama F.C. played its first season in the top flight of Japanese football in only its ninth year of existence. After a poor season the team were relegated with five games of the season still remaining. Despite their early demotion, Yokohama F.C. still lived to help decide the final outcome at the opposite end of the table. By beating title contenders Urawa Red Diamonds on the last day of the season, they helped Kashima Antlers claim their fifth J. League crown.
Thus far, Yokohama F.C. is the only former member of the current JFL to compete in the top division.
Fight for promotion
Although they had a dire season in 2005, they ended 11th out of 12, they were in the top half of table throughout the 2006 season. On 26 November they finished on the top spot of the J2 league, and hence were finally promoted to division 1.
This success story was so dramatic as to make people somewhat excited in Japan. Yokohama FC's financial situation is so poor that they don't even possess their own football ground or a club house. Players did everything themselves including the carrying the goal posts and washing jerseys.
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 38. At the beginning of the season few expected them to become champions.
First, Takagi concentrated on getting the basics right and focused on defense. The team then kept clean sheets in 15 consecutive games. This success gave the young players confidence to be more aggressive on the field. As a result, they didn't lose more than one game in succession and won the title.
As they could not adopt directly Flugels' white and blue strip given its similarity to that of Marinos, Yokohama F.C. decided to adopt an all-cyan kit, after NKK F.C., a former company club which had closed in 1994. NKK F.C. 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.
As of February 10, 2014 Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Season by season results and managers
|2001||J2||44||43||15||28||1||58||81||-23||9th||Yoshikazu Nagai / Yuji Sakakura / Katsuyoshi Shinto|
|2006||48||93||26||7||15||61||32||+29||Champions||Yusuke Adachi / Takuya Takagi|
|2007||J1||34||16||4||4||26||19||66||-47||18th, relegated||Takuya Takagi / Júlio César Leal Junior|
Former notable players
|Júlio César Leal Junior||Brazil||2007|