K League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from K-League)
Jump to: navigation, search
K League
K League.png
Founded 1983
Country South Korea
Confederation AFC
Divisions K League Classic (First Division)
K League Challenge (Second Division)
Number of teams 22
Domestic cup(s) FA Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (Classic)
Gyeongnam FC (Challenge)
Most championships Seongnam FC (7)
Website Official website

K League (Hangul: K리그) (Korea Professional Football League) is South Korea's professional association football league including first division K League Classic and second division K League Challenge.[1][2] The fact that both the first and second divisions have very similar names has caused some degree of confusion and controversy.[3]

History[edit]

The K League Classic was founded in 1983 as the Korean Super League, with five member clubs. The initial five clubs were Hallelujah FC, Yukong Elephants, POSCO Dolphins, Daewoo Royals, and Kookmin Bank FC. Hallelujah FC won the inaugural title, finishing one point ahead of Daewoo Royals to lift the crown.

In 1998, Korea's football league was reformed and renamed the K League (K League was official orthography by 2012). Since its creation, the league has expanded from an initial 5 to 16 clubs. Of the five inaugural clubs, only Yukong Elephants, POSCO Dolphins, and Daewoo Royals remains in the K League; Kookmin Bank FC dropped out of the league at the end of 1984, and Hallelujah FC followed the season after.

In 2013, K League introduced the division system. The first division's name is K League Classic, the second division's name is K League Challenge and the comprehensive brand name is K League.

Structure[edit]

Below the K League Classic, there is the K League Challenge, and below the K League Challenge, there is the National League, a closed semi-professional league with ten clubs, established in 2003. The fourth level of football in Korea is the K3 League.

There was no official system of promotion and relegation. However, beginning in 2013, the champions of K League Challenge is eligible for promotion to the K League Classic, provided they had met certain criteria. In 2012 season, two teams from K League Classic was relegated to K League Challenge, and in 2013, two teams will be relegated to K League Challenge, and 11th placed team from K League Classic and the first placed team from K League Challenge will have a relegation play-off.

Clubs[edit]

Current K League Clubs[edit]

All-time K League Clubs[edit]

As of 2017, There have been a total of 31 member clubs in the history of the K League – those clubs are listed below with their current names (where applicable):

  • K League's principle of official statistics is that final club succeeds to predecessor club's history & records.
  • Clubs in italic no longer exist.
Club (duration) Owner(s) Sponsor(s) Notes
POSCO FC (1973–1983)
POSCO Dolphins (1983–1984)
POSCO Atoms (1985–1994)
Pohang Atoms (1995–1996)
Pohang Steelers (1997–present)
POSCO Founded as a Semi-Professional FC on April 1973
Transferred into a Professional FC on February 1984
Hallelujah FC (1983–1985) defunct Shindongah Group Inauguration date – 20 December 1980
Yukong Elephants (1983–1995)
Puchon Yukong (1996–1997.09)
Puchon SK (1997.10–2000)
Bucheon SK (2001–2005)
Jeju United (2006–present)
SK Energy[1] in SK Group Inauguration date – 17 December 1982
Saehan Motors FC (1979–1980)
Daewoo FC (1980–1983)
Daewoo Royals (1983–1995)
Pusan Daewoo Royals (1996–1999)
Pusan i.cons (2000–2002.07)
Pusan I'Cons (2002.07–2004)
Busan I'Park (2005–2011)
Busan IPark (2012–present)
defunct Daewoo Group (1983–1999)
Hyundai Development Company (2000–present)
Founded as a Semi-Professional FC on 22 November 1979
Refounded as a Professional FC
Inauguration date – 3 December 1983
Kookmin Bank FC (1983–1984) Kookmin Bank Played as a Semi-Professional FC
Hyundai Horang-i (1984–1995)
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i (1996–1998)
Ulsan Hyundai Horangi (1999–2007)
Ulsan Hyundai (2008–present)
Hyundai Motor Company in Hyundai Group (1984–1997)
Hyundai Heavy Industries in Hyundai Heavy Industries Group (1998–present)
Inauguration date – 6 December 1983
Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso (1984–1990)
LG Cheetahs (1991–1995)
Anyang LG Cheetahs (1996–2003)
FC Seoul (2004–present)
LG Group (1984–2004)
GS Group[2] (2004.06–present)
0
0
Inauguration date – 22 December 1983
0
0
0
Hanil Bank FC (1984–1986) Hanil Bank[3] Played as a Semi-Professional FC
Ilhwa Chunma (1989–1995)
Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma (1996–1999)
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (2000–2013)
Seongnam FC (2014–present)
Ilhwa in Tongil Group (1989–2013)
Government of Seongnam and Citizen Stockholder (2014–present)
Inauguration date – 18 March 1989
Chonbuk Buffalo (1994) Bobae Soju (1994) Inauguration date – 1993
Dissolution date – 1994
Chonbuk Dinos (1995–1996)
Chonbuk Hyundai Dinos (1997–1999)
Chonbuk Hyundai Motors (2000–2005)
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (2006–present)
Consortium of Hyunyang and Hyundai Motor Company in Hyundai Group (1995–1999.05)
Hyundai Motor Company in Hyundai Motor Group (1999.05–present)
Inauguration date – 12 December 1994
Chunnam Dragons (1995–2013)
Jeonnam Dragons (2014–present)
POSCO Inauguration date – 16 December 1994
Suwon Samsung Bluewings (1996–present) Samsung Electronics in Samsung Group (1996–2014)
Cheil Worldwide in Samsung Group (2014–present)
Samsung Electronics Inauguration date – 15 December 1995
Taejon Citizen (1997–2002)
Daejeon Citizen (2003–present)
Consortium of defunct Dong Ah Group, Kyeryong Construction Company, Dongyang Department Store, Chungchong Bank (1997–2005)
Government of Daejeon and Citizen Stockholder (2006–present)
Hana Bank Inauguration date – 12 March 1997
Daegu FC (2003–present) Government of Daegu and Citizen Stockholder Daegu Bank Inauguration date – 19 March 2003
Incheon United (2004–present) Government of Incheon and Citizen Stockholder Shinhan Bank
Incheon International Airport
Inauguration date – 1 March 2004
Gyeongnam FC (2006–present) Government of Gyeongsangnam-do and Citizen Stockholder DSME
Gyeongnam Bank
Inauguration date – 17 January 2006
Gangwon FC (2009–present) Government of Gangwon-do and Citizen Stockholder High1 Resort Inauguration date – 18 December 2008
Gwangju FC (2011–present) Government of Gwangju and Citizen Stockholder Gwangju Bank Inauguration date – 16 December 2010
Sangmu FC (1985)
Gwangju Sangmu (2003–2010)
Sangju Sangmu Phoenix (2011–2012)
Sangju Sangmu (2013–present)
0
0
0
Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps (1985)
Government of Gwangju and Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps (2003–2010)
Government of Sangju and Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps (2011–present)
0
0
0
0
Founded as a Military FC (Semi-Professional) on 11 January 1984
Joined K League in 1985
Inauguration date – 4 January 2013 (Gwangju Sangmu)
Inauguration date – 26 February 2011 (Sangju Sangmu)
※ Sangmu, Gwangju Sangmu and Sangju Sangmu, these clubs are separate legal entities by K League, not succeed the history and records
Police FC (2013)
Ansan Police FC (2014–2015)
Ansan Mugunghwa (2016)
Asan Mugunghwa (2017–present)
0
0
Mugunghwa Athletic Club in Korean National Police University (2013)
Government of Ansan and Mugunghwa Athletic Club in Korean National Police University (2014–2016)
Government of Asan and Mugunghwa Athletic Club in Korean National Police University (2017–present)
0
Founded as a Police FC (Semi-Professional) on 29 March 1996
Transferred into a Professional FC and
joined K League Challenge in 2013
Inauguration date – 16 March 2014 (Ansan Mugunghwa)
Inauguration date – 16 January 2017 (Asan Mugunghwa)
0※ Ansan Police and Asan Police, these clubs are separate legal entities by K League, not succeed the history and records
Goyang Hi FC (2013–2016) Founded as a Semi-Professional FC in 1999
Transferred into a Professional FC and
joined K League Challenge in 2013
Transferred into an Amateur FC and
left K League Challenge in the end of 2016
Chungju Hummel (2013–2016) Hummel Korea Founded as a Semi-Professional FC 9 December 1999
Transferred into a Professional FC and
joined K League Challenge in 2013
Suwon FC (2013–present) Government of Suwon and Citizen Stockholder Founded as a Semi-Professional FC 15 March 2003
Transferred into a Professional FC in 2013
Joined K League Challenge
Bucheon FC 1995 (2013–present) Government of Bucheon and Citizen Stockholder Founded as Amateur FC on 1 December 2007
Transferred into a Professional FC and
joined K League Challenge in 2013
FC Anyang (2013–present) Government of Anyang and Citizen Stockholder Inauguration date – 2 February 2013
Joined K League Challenge in 2013
Seoul E-Land FC (2015–present) E-Land Group Inauguration date – 22 August 2014
Joined K League Challenge in 2015
Ansan Greeners FC (2017–present) Government of Ansan and Citizen Stockholder Inauguration date – 21 February 2017
Joined K League Challenge in 2017

[1] Yukong renamed to SK Energy
[2] GS Group is separated from LG Group
[3] Hanil Bank is merged by Woori Bank

Champions[edit]

Records and statistics[edit]

For details, see K League records and statistics.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Including K League Challenge appearances (second division)

Foreign players[edit]

Season Squad Play in match Notes
1983–1993 2 2
1994 3 2 If three players chosen to South Korea in one club,
three foreign players can play.
1995 3 3
1996–2000 5 3 From 1997 season, foreign goalkeepers were restricted in play the match.
* 1997 season : Two-third of all matches
* 1998 season : one-third of all matches
* From 1999 season : foreign goalkeepers were restricted in K League
2001–2002 7 3 Temporary operation due to support the World Cup.
2003–2004 5 3
2005 4 3
2006–2008 3 3
2009– 3+1 3+1 '+1' is Asian quota.

At the inception of the K League in 1983, only two Brazilian players made rosters. At the time, rules allowed each club to have three foreign players and that the three could also play simultaneously in a game. From the 1996 season, each team had five foreign players among whom three could play in a game at the same time. Moreover, from the 2000 season to the 2002 season, the limit on foreign players was expanded seven but only three could play in a game at the same time. The limit was lower to five in 2003, four in 2005, and three in 2007. From the 2009 season, the number of foreign players went back up to four per team, including a slot for a player from AFC countries.

In the 1985 season, Piyapong Pue-on of Thailand led foreign players in the league in scoring and assists. Other leading players were Rade Bogdanović, who had 10 goals and 10 assists in the 1996 season. Valeri Sarychev, the K League's most famous foreign goalkeeper, played in 320 league games from 1992 to 2004. He was eventually naturalized as a Korean citizen and given the Korean name Shin Eui-Son which means God's hand because of his stellar play.

In the 1990s, the trend was for the K League to get foreign players from Eastern Europe like Rade Bogdanović, Radivoje Manic, Saša Drakulić and Denis Laktionov. From 2000, Brazilians became the K League's priority such as Tavares, Mota, Nádson, Adilson and Edu. Since 2009, players from AFC have been fairly popular especially those from Australia, China PR, Japan and Uzbekistan.

Franchise system[edit]

  • Non-franchised Period (1983–1986): K League Clubs had franchise but clubs played the all game of round at one stadium.
  • Franchised period (1987–present): K League introduced home and away matches system in 1987.
  • Clubs which are not listed in the table don't have franchise relocations.

Franchise relocations[edit]

Club Original City / area
(joined year)
Non-franchised period
1983–1986
Franchised period
1987–present
Pohang Steelers Daegu+Gyeongbuk (1983) N/A Pohang (1990 / 1988[1]–present)
Jeju United Seoul+Incheon+Gyeonggi (1983) Seoul (1984) Incheon+Gyeonggi (1987) ▶ Seoul (1991)
Bucheon / Mok-dong, Seoul (1996)[2]Bucheon (2001) ▶ Jeju (2006–present)
Busan IPark Busan+Gyeongnam (1983) N/A Busan (1990 / 1989[1]–present)
Ulsan Hyundai Incheon+Gyeonggi (1984) Incheon+Gyeonggi+Gangwon(1986) Gangwon (1987) ▶ Ulsan (1990–present)
FC Seoul Chungcheong (1984) N/A Chungcheong (1987) ▶ Seoul (1990) ▶ Anyang (1996) ▶ Seoul (2004–present)
Seongnam FC Seoul (1989) N/A Cheonan (1996) ▶ Seongnam (2000–present)
Sangju Sangmu[3] Gwangju (2003) N/A Gwangju (2003) ▶ Sangju (2011–present)
Asan Mugunghwa[4] N/A(All matches were away matches) (2013) N/A Ansan (2014) ▶ Asan (2017–present)

[1] K League officially began city franchise policy in 1990, But Pohang Steelers began in 1988 and Busan IPark began in 1989.
[2] Actually Bucheon SK held all home matches at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul until 2000. Because Bucheon Stadium was under construction.
[3] Gwangju Sangmu and Sangju Sangmu are sepate leagal entities by K League. Officially, not relocated and founded as a new club.
[4] Ansan Police and Asan Police are sepate leagal entities by K League. Officially, not relocated and founded as a new club.

K League Awards[edit]

Sponsorship[edit]

Start End Name
1983 1993
None
1994 1995 South Korea Hite
1996 1997 South Korea Rapido
1998  – South Korea Hyundai
1999  – South Korea Buy Korea
2000  – South Korea Samsung DigiTall
2001  – South Korea POSCO
2002 2008 South Korea Samsung Hauzen
2009  –
None
2010  – South Korea Hyundai Motor Company Sonata
2011 2016 South Korea Hyundai Oilbank
2017 2019 South Korea KEB Hana Bank

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In search of Korea's disappearing Red Devils-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily". Koreajoongangdaily.joins.com. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  2. ^ "South Korean Teams Fight for Attention at Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  3. ^ "위원석의 하프타임 'K리그'에 새로운 이름을 붙여주자" (in Korean). The Daily Sports Seoul. February 19, 2013. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]