Wuhan Optics Valley F.C.
|Full name||Hubei Wuhan Professional F.C.
|Nickname(s)||Jiu Tou Niao (Nine Heads Phoenix),
Han Jun (Han Army)
|Ground||Xinhua Road Sports Center and Wuhan Sports Center Stadium,
Wuhan, Hubei, China
|Capacity||36,000 and 60,000|
Wuhan Optics Valley Football Club (simplified Chinese: 武汉光谷; traditional Chinese: 武漢光谷; pinyin: Wǔhàn Guānggǔ) is a defunct football club which was located in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The club's home stadium was Xinhua Road Sports Center, while the important matches were played at the more modern stadium Wuhan Sports Center in China. Their fans were mainly from Hubei province and the club had supporters from the city of Wuhan, and the surrounding cities of Ezhou, Huangshi and Xiaogan. It was founded in 1954 as the Hubei Football Team, while the professional football team was founded in February 1994. In 2008, Wuhan FC quit the Chinese Super League because of what it believed to be unfair punishment after the club had a dispute with the Chinese Football Association over the club's on-field behaviour against Beijing Guoan in a league game. Some of its players formed a new team called Wuhan Zall Professional F.C. and succeeded in winning a position in the 2013 Chinese Super League.
Hubei Football Team
The club was formed in 1954 by the local Hubei province sports body to take part in China's national football league tournament. They entered the league in the 1955 season and finished tenth. After several years struggling within the division, the club found themselves in the second tier by the 1958 season. After achieving a fourth-place finish they were promoted to the top division. By 1960 the club had renamed themselves the Hubei Football Club and for a short period they adapted better within the league. By the end of the 1963 season the club were relegated to the second division until the Chinese Cultural Revolution saw football in China halted. When football returned in 1973 the club were allowed to enter straight back into the top tier. From then on the club predominantly remained a top division team. They narrowly missed out on winning their first league title to August 1st football club on goal difference in the 1986 league season. They could not improve upon that result and were relegated at the end of the 1988 league season. In response to this failure the local Hubei government pushed for better representation within the league pyramid, and several new teams were formed in the Hubei region.
While the club was in the second tier, the Chinese Football Association were starting to demand full professionalism throughout the league. Hubei FC decide to merge with Wuhan Steelworks to form a fully professional unit in February 1994 and be the sole representative of the Hubei region in the Chinese league pyramid. With former player Yin Lihua as their manager the club gradually improved their league standings and won the second tier title at the end of the 1997 league season.
The club's time in the top tier did not last very long and they were soon relegated back into the second tier. They brought in Pei Encai as their new manager in 2004. He won the division title and promotion in his debut season. Back within the top tier of the rebranded Chinese Super League, the team were led-out by local players such as Li Hao, Zheng Bin and Zhang Xinxin. Their foreign contingent of Brazilians such as Emerson Roberto Conceicao Aleixo, Gílson Domingos Rezende Agostinho and Vicente de Paula Neto helped the club to a seven-game winning streak early in the season. Pei Encai was hired away by the Chinese women's football team. Chen Fangping came in as the new manager during the season and carried on Pei Encai's work. Despite several injuries to some key players the club were able to win the 2005 Chinese Super League Cup by beating Shenzhen Jianlibao 3–1 on aggregate after a 1:1 away match and 2:0 home match fixture.
After his brief stint as the Chinese women's team coach Pei Encai returned to the club. He again promoted local talent by including defenders Ai Zhibo and Cai Xi, midfielders Zhou Yi and Chinese U-23 player Zhou Heng on the team. However he was unable to achieve the same success upon his return and the club finished tenth. In the following season youngsters Deng Zhuoxiang, Chinese U-23 players Zeng Cheng, Rong Hao and Di You joined the BBC team. Rong Hao and Di You suffered knee injuries during the season. Despite finishing seventh Pei Encai and the club decided to part way s and Chen Fangping was brought back in as a manager at the beginning of the 2008 Chinese Super League. His use of inappropriate tactics led the club quickly into the relegation zone, and he was soon sacked. Former Chinese football team manager Zhu Guanghu was then brought in to change the club's fortunes around. He decided that the club needed to strengthen their defence and brought in Chinese international Li Weifeng for three million yuan.
On September 27, 2008 the club were playing the eighteenth league game out of thirty against Beijing Guoan when Li Weifeng and Beijing player Lu Jiang had a scuffle on the field. The Chinese FA decided to issue each player with an eight match ban and a fine of 1,170 USD. Wuhan FC chairman Shen Liefeng refused to accept the punishment and threatened to quit the Chinese football league and sought legal advice. On October 1, 2008 the club and the Chinese FA could not come to an agreement The club decided to quit the league. With Wuhan FC quitting the Chinese Super League, they were fined a further 44,000 USD by the Chinese FA, had all their matches awarded 3–0 against them, and were banned from entering any further league seasons in any division. All the senior players were either sold or loaned out. The local Hubei government took over the club's youth team and formed a new club called Hubei Greenery to take part at the bottom of the Chinese league system within the third tier at the beginning of the 2009 league season.
- 1954–1958 Wuhan FC
- 1960–1992 Hubei FC
- 1994–1995 Wuhan Steelworks
- 1996 Hubei Meierya
- 1997 Wuhan Yaqi
- 1998 Wuhan Hongjinlong
- 1999–2000 Wuhan Hongtao
- 2001 Wuhan Hongjinlong
- 2002 Wuhan Donghu Gaoke
- 2003 Wuhan Guoce Lanxing
- 2004–2005 Wuhan Huanghelou (武汉黄鹤楼)
- 2006–2007 Wuhan Guanggu
- 2008 Wuhan Optics Valley (武汉光谷).
Managers who have coached the team since the club became a professional unit back in 1994.
- Chinese Jia-B League / China League One (Second Tier League)
- 1980, 1997, 2004
- Chinese Super League Cup
- Reserve League Champions
All-time League Rankings
|Year||Div||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Pos.||FA Cup||Super Cup||AFC||Att./G||Stadium|
No league games in 1959, 1966–72, 1975;
- China 1955 at rsssf.com 22 Oct 2009 Retrieved 12 June 2012
- China 1958 at rsssf.com 22 Oct 2009 Retrieved 12 June 2012
- China 1960 at rsssf.com 22 Oct 2009 Retrieved 12 June 2012
- China 1986 at rsssf.com 22 Oct 2009 Retrieved 12 June 2012
- China 1988 at rsssf.com 22 Oct 2009 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- 武汉队历史 at whfootball.cnhubei.com 2007-12-26 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- China 1997 at rsssf.com 21 Jun 2003 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- China 2004 at rsssf.com 7 Apr 2005 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- 国安震怒主裁执法不公 高层威胁要退出中国足坛 at sports.sohu.com 2008-09-29 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- 足协维持李玮峰处罚 武汉宣布罢赛正式退出中超 at sports.sohu.com 2008-10-01 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- Wuhan ejected from soccer league at english.people.com.cn 10 Nov 2008 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- 武汉确定40名球员集体挂牌 湖北足球火种恐渐熄灭 at sports.sina.com.cn 2009-01-19 Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "China – List of Champions". rsssf.com. 2015-11-05. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
- "China List of Cup Winners". rsssf.com. 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
- "China – List of Champions". rsssf.com. 10 Oct 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- "Wuhan Guanggu". uk.soccerway.com. Retrieved 27 September 2014.