Dalian Yifang F.C.

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Dalian Yifang
Dàlián Yīfāng
Full nameDalian Yifang Football Club
Nickname(s)Blue Hawks
Founded20 September 2009; 9 years ago (2009-09-20)
GroundDalian Sports Center Stadium,
Dalian, Liaoning
ChairmanZhang Lin (张霖)
ManagerChoi Kang-hee
LeagueChinese Super League
2018Super League, 11th
Current season

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.[1]


Club history[edit]

Dalian Aerbin (2009 - 2015)[edit]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] The club initially struggled in the league and the club brought in Aleksandar Stanojević as the head coach.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] This incident caused Aerbin to faced some serious financial problems, being unable to pay the salaries, bonuses, or even maintenance of the stadium.[11] At the end of 2014 Chinese Super League, Aerbin was relegated to China League One.

Dalian Yifang (2015 - )[edit]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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..[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]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[21].

Ownership and naming history[edit]

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

Current squad[edit]

As of 1 March 2019 [22]

First team[edit]

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 Chong
2 China DF Zhao Mingjian
3 China DF Shan Pengfei
4 China DF Li Shuai
5 Hong Kong FW Alex Akande
6 China MF Zhu Xiaogang
7 China MF Zhao Xuri
8 China FW Zhu Ting
10 Belgium FW Yannick Carrasco
11 China MF Sun Guowen
12 China DF Zhou Ting
13 China DF Wang Yaopeng
14 China DF Huang Jiahui
16 China MF Qin Sheng (Captain)
17 Slovakia MF Marek Hamšík
18 China DF He Yupeng
No. Position Player
19 China GK Yu Ziqian
20 China MF Wang Jinxian
21 Ghana FW Emmanuel Boateng
22 China DF Dong Yanfeng
23 China GK Chen Junlin
24 China MF Yang Lei
25 China DF Li Jianbin
26 China MF Cui Ming'an
29 China MF Sun Bo
30 Zimbabwe FW Nyasha Mushekwi
31 China MF Zheng Long (on loan from Guangzhou Evergrande)
33 China FW Zhao Xuebin
35 China DF Yang Shanping
38 China MF Yang Fangzhi

Reserve squad[edit]

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.

No. Position Player
41 China MF Li Qinghao
42 China GK Gao Tian
43 China DF Bi Guangfu
44 China MF Zhang Yuhao
45 China DF Yang Pengju
46 China MF Zhang Jun
47 China MF Yu Zhen
48 China MF Xie Hui
49 China MF Pang Chuntao
50 China MF Liu Zhipeng
No. Position Player
51 China DF Rong Linchao
52 China FW Han Guangxu
53 China DF Luo Hongshi
54 China MF Zhu Hui
55 China GK Wang Kailong
56 China MF Cheng Xianfeng
57 China MF Bai Yaoxu
58 China FW Aximu Aini
59 China MF Yi Tianyu
60 China DF Yang Zexiang

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
China DF Yin Jiahao (at Shenzhen Pengcheng until 31 December 2019)
China DF Zheng Jianfeng (at Dalian Chanjoy until 31 December 2019)
China DF Wang Liang (at Dalian Chanjoy until 31 December 2019)
China MF Gao Mingxin (at Dalian Chanjoy until 31 December 2019)
China MF Li Yuqiu (at Yinchuan Helanshan until 31 December 2019)
No. Position Player
China MF Han Peijiang (at Dalian Chanjoy until 31 December 2019)
China MF Ren Jiawei (at Dalian Chanjoy until 31 December 2019)
China MF Liu Yingchen (at Shanghai Shenxin until 31 December 2019)
China MF Yuan Hao (at Shanghai Shenxin until 31 December 2019)
Colombia FW Duvier Riascos (at CD Universidad Católica until 31 December 2019)

Coaching staff[edit]

As of 10 April 2018.[23]

Head coach South Korea Choi Kang-hee
Assistant coach South Korea Park Kun-ha
China Tang Tian
Fitness coach Brazil Irwing Freitas
Goalkeeper coach South Korea Choi Eun-sung
Technical coach South Korea Kim Hyun-min
South Korea Choi Sung-yong
Reserve coach China Li Guoxu
Team physician South Korea Jung Jae-sun
Spain Antonio Turmo Garuz
Andorra Jan Jungwirth
U17 Team coach China Shi Lei
U15 Team coach China Qi Xiaoguang
China Lei Tao
U13 Team coach China Liu Yujian
China Wang Zhaochen

Managerial history[edit]

As of 1 March 2018[24][25]
Managers Period
China Chi Shangbin Jan 1, 2009 – Dec 31, 2010
China Sun Xianlu 2010
Bulgaria Aleksandar Stankov June 2010 – Dec 11, 2011
South Korea Chang Woe-Ryong Jan 1, 2012 – April 3, 2012
Serbia Aleksandar Stanojević April 4, 2012 – Nov 9, 2012
China Xu Hong Dec 11, 2012 – Feb 18, 2013
China Li Ming (interim) Feb 18, 2013 – June 5, 2013
Bosnia and Herzegovina Simo Krunić June 3, 2013 – Dec 5, 2013
China Ma Lin Nov 5, 2013 – May 28, 2014
Japan Yasuharu Kurata May 30, 2014 – Dec 19, 2014
Sweden Mikael Stahre Jan 5, 2015 – Jul 5, 2016
Serbia Milinko Pantić Jul 5, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016
Spain Sergio Piernas Cárdenas Aug 31, 2016 - Nov 29, 2016
Spain Juan Ramón López Caro Nov 29, 2016 - Dec 26, 2017
China Ma Lin Dec 26, 2017 - Mar 20, 2018
Germany Bernd Schuster Mar 20, 2018 - Feb 11, 2019
South Korea Choi Kang-hee Feb 11, 2019 –


Winners (2): 2011, 2017
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
2011 2 26 16 6 4 45 20 25 54 W R2 DNQ DNQ
2012 1 30 11 11 8 51 46 5 45 5 QF DNQ DNQ 15,774 Jinzhou Stadium
2013 1 30 11 8 11 40 43 −3 41 5 SF DNQ DNQ 10,538
2014 1 30 6 11 13 32 45 −13 29 15 R3 DNQ DNQ 10,993 Dalian Sports Center
2015 2 30 17 7 6 46 22 24 58 3 R3 DNQ DNQ 15,213
2016 2 30 14 3 13 43 44 -1 45 5 R3 DNQ DNQ 10,806
2017 2 30 19 7 4 48 23 25 64 W R3 DNQ DNQ 20,596
2018 1 30 10 5 15 37 57 -20 35 11 SF DNQ DNQ 33,145
2019 1 30 DNQ DNQ
  • ^1 in group stage


Notable players[edit]

Had international caps for their respective countries.


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  12. ^ "三连败!阿尔滨再遇欠薪麻烦 斯塔勒下课倒计时?". sina. 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  13. ^ 重磅!一方4000万入股阿尔滨 万达回归大连足球 at sina 2015-07-08 Retrieved 2015-12-23
  14. ^ 一方接盘大连足球,万达隐性回归 足球报 2015-07-09 Retrieved 2016-12-01
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External links[edit]