Dalian Yifang F.C.
|Full name||Dalian Yifang Football Club|
|Founded||20 September 2009|
|Ground||Dalian Sports Center Stadium,|
|Chairman||Zhang Lin (张霖)|
|League||Chinese Super League|
|2018||Super League, 11th|
Dalian Yifang Football Club (Chinese: 大连一方足球俱乐部) is a professional Chinese football club that participates in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team is owned by Dalian Yifang Group based in Dalian, Liaoning and their home stadium is Dalian Sports Center Stadium with a capacity of 61,000. The club was founded in September 20, 2009 by Dalian Aerbin Group Co. Ltd and started from the third tier of the Chinese football pyramid, the China League Two. Winning two consecutive league title in the 2nd and 3rd tier professional football leagues, they were promoted to the top tier in 2012 Chinese Super League season where they experienced their highest ever placing of fifth in the same season.
Dalian Aerbin (2009 - 2015)
On September 20, 2009, Dalian Aerbin Group Co. Ltd. established a new professional football club named Dalian Aerbin (Chinese: 大连阿尔滨) and hired former Chinese footballer Li Ming to become the club manager. The club's name Aerbin comes from the Manchu language meaning a place with water, which is also the name of a small town in Jinzhou District of Dalian where Dalian Aerbin Group Co. Ltd locates. They would soon move into the Dalian University Stadium in the Dalian Development Area and bring in Chi Shangbin as their co-manager and Sun Xianlu as their Head coach. Starting in the third tier league, the club made their debut in 2010 China League Two season. The club brought in established top tier Chinese Super League players such as Guo Hui, Chang Lin and Yang Lin. The quality of these players helped the club win their regional division section and later the league title over Tianjin Songjiang as the club won the championship.
In the following season, the club hired its first foreign coach, Bulgarian manager Aleksandar Stankov. Dalian Aerbin F.C. set up a surprising winning streak and won the 2011 China League One championship. With their meteoric rise to the Super League, the club decided to use the 30,775 seater Jinzhou Stadium as its home stadium and shared it with their local rival Dalian Shide as well as signing a more experienced manager in Chang Woe-Ryong who had previously managed in the Chinese Super League with Qingdao Jonoon. The club initially struggled in the league and the club brought in Aleksandar Stanojević as the head coach. By July 11, 2012 Dalian Aerbin brought in a marquee player in former Barcelona F.C. midfielder Seydou Keita who departed the Spanish team on a free transfer and helped ensure Dalian Aerbin remain within the league. At the end of the 2012 league season Stanojevć managed to not only avoid relegation but actually guided the club to fifth within the league.
On 30 November 2012, Aerbin Group acquired the local rival Dalian Shide F.C. by taking on responsibility of their 330 million RMB debt after Dalian Shide's chairman Xu Ming was arrested for bribing and corruption. In hopes of bringing in a harmonious merger of the two teams, former Dalian Shide manager Xu Hong was brought in for the start of the 2013 Chinese Super League. However, after only 63 days in charge he had to resign after the Chinese Football Association found that he manipulated a match while as a manager at Sichuan Guancheng and was given a 5-year suspension from all football activity, which forced Li Ming to start the season as their caretaker manager. Chinese Football Association call off this merger according to the regulation, and decided that former Dalian Shide player shall join free market, while Dalian Aerbin could only sign them through normal transfer, 5 at most, instead of taking over the whole team. This incident caused Aerbin to faced some serious financial problems, being unable to pay the salaries, bonuses, or even maintenance of the stadium. At the end of 2014 Chinese Super League, Aerbin was relegated to China League One.
Dalian Yifang (2015 - )
With Dalian Aerbin back in the China League One division and with the loss of revenue generated from being in the top tier the club could not afford to maintain their squad, which saw a mass exodus of players. Mikael Stahre was hired as the Head coach at the start of the 2015 league campaign and looked to be pushing for promotion, which saw Dalian Yifang Group Co. Ltd on 8 July 2015 buy majority shares within the club. The purchase was promoted by Wang Jianlin and his Wanda Group who are a main shareholder of the Yifang Group (一方, "one region"), with the investment signalling a return of football ownership from Wang Jianlin who had previously owned Dalian Wanda F.C.. The club failed to win promotion back into the top tier after finishing third place at the end of the 2015 season and officially changed their name to Dalian Yifang F.C. (Chinese: 大连一方) in December 2015. On 10 July 2015 in a press conference to confirm the Yifang Group's investment The General manager Shi Xueqing admitted that the club was still losing money.
In the 2017 China League One season Dalian Yifang won the division title and promotion back into the top tier under Head coach Juan Ramón López Caro. Despite this success the Dalian Football Association announced he was replaced by Ma Lin, which saw speculation grow that the club were still in financial difficulties and were looking for the local government Dalian Sports Bureau to takeover the club. On 20 February 2018 the Wanda Group took full control on the club after selling their 17% share Atlético Madrid to Israeli businessman Idan Ofer on 14 February 2018. The Wanda Group would use the money taken from Atlético Madrid and invest it in bringing in Argentinian international Nicolás Gaitán and Belgium international Yannick Carrasco.In February 2019, the club completed another Marquee signing from Europe, this time acquiring the services of Napoli man Marek Hamšík, who signed for a reported fee of about €20 million (£18m/$23m). Gaitan left the team to play for the MLS side Chicago Fire after just one season.
Ownership and naming history
|Year||Owner||Club name||Sponsored team name|
|2009–15||Dalian Aerbin Group Co. Ltd.||Dalian Aerbin Football Club|
|2015||Dalian Yifang Group Co. Ltd.|
|2016–||Dalian Yifang Football Club|
As of 1 March 2019 
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
As of 1 March 2019
Out on loan
As of 10 April 2018.
|Head coach||Choi Kang-hee|
|Assistant coach|| Park Kun-ha |
|Fitness coach||Irwing Freitas|
|Goalkeeper coach||Choi Eun-sung|
|Technical coach|| Kim Hyun-min |
|Reserve coach||Li Guoxu|
|Team physician||Jung Jae-sun|
|Antonio Turmo Garuz|
|U17 Team coach||Shi Lei|
|U15 Team coach||Qi Xiaoguang|
|U13 Team coach||Liu Yujian|
|Chi Shangbin||Jan 1, 2009 – Dec 31, 2010|
|Aleksandar Stankov||June 2010 – Dec 11, 2011|
|Chang Woe-Ryong||Jan 1, 2012 – April 3, 2012|
|Aleksandar Stanojević||April 4, 2012 – Nov 9, 2012|
|Xu Hong||Dec 11, 2012 – Feb 18, 2013|
|Li Ming (interim)||Feb 18, 2013 – June 5, 2013|
|Simo Krunić||June 3, 2013 – Dec 5, 2013|
|Ma Lin||Nov 5, 2013 – May 28, 2014|
|Yasuharu Kurata||May 30, 2014 – Dec 19, 2014|
|Mikael Stahre||Jan 5, 2015 – Jul 5, 2016|
|Milinko Pantić||Jul 5, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016|
|Sergio Piernas Cárdenas||Aug 31, 2016 - Nov 29, 2016|
|Juan Ramón López Caro||Nov 29, 2016 - Dec 26, 2017|
|Ma Lin||Dec 26, 2017 - Mar 20, 2018|
|Bernd Schuster||Mar 20, 2018 - Feb 11, 2019|
|Choi Kang-hee||Feb 11, 2019 –|
- China League Two (Third Tier League)
- Winners (1): 2010
All-time League Rankings
|Year||Div||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Pos.||FA Cup||Super Cup||AFC||Att./G||Stadium|
|2010||3||21||14||3||4||37||14||23||34 1||W||NH||DNQ||DNQ||Dalian University Stadium|
|2014||1||30||6||11||13||32||45||−13||29||15||R3||DNQ||DNQ||10,993||Dalian Sports Center|
- ^1 in group stage
Had international caps for their respective countries.
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- "Chicago Fire set to sign Gaitan from Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang". 2019-02-28. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
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