A number of Chinese football clubs have gone out of business this year, but it’s Tianjin Tianhai that’s arguably having the biggest impact of all.
With Tianhai’s fate finally confirmed last week, with the club officially disbanded and the issue of money owed being worked out, a number of changes have taken place in the Middle Empire’s top two leagues. .
For the Chinese Super League, nothing has changed too much, except for one club traded for another. In this case, the CSL 2020 season will see Shenzhen FC return to the top flight, despite relegation in 2019.
Roberto Donnadoni’s side have prepared well for the 2020 season, regardless of which league they ultimately compete in, signing a number of top veteran players including Gao Lin and Pei Shuai.
Their recruitment arguably gives Shenzhen a better quality squad than last season, they were originally the favorites to win the China League One title with relative ease.
Now it looks like their proactive preparations will put them in a stronger position to compete in the top spot.
The biggest effect, however, comes from the second tier, with the de facto favorites for promotion now less clear, although a few teams might well be seen that way.
Beijing Renhe will of course be hoping to have a positive campaign in 2020 to try to regain promotion to the top row after being relegated, but they will face stiff competition from some of the teams that missed last season.
Guizhou Hengfeng and Heilongjiang Lava Spring may seem like obvious candidates for strong promotional pushes this season thanks to their fourth and fifth places in 2019.
With head-to-head results seeing Guizhou stand out from Heilongjiang, both clubs hope to take advantage of the somewhat “ easier ” circumstances around the 2020 season, with Shenzhen no longer a factor.
But one of the clubs that will arguably have the highest expectations after a disappointing collapse on the final day is Changchun Yatai.
Uzbek manager Samvel Babayan has built a squad that is easily stronger than the one fielded by the northeastern club last season, with a strong striker in Aaron Olanare joined by Brazilian Serginho as well as solid international experience in the form from Taiwanese captain Chen Po-Liang and Rao Weihui, who has yet to be officially announced by the club.
A ten-game unbeaten streak last season gave Changchun the appearance of the team to beat, and ultimately a disappointing end should boost the team in 2020, with expectations of a championship now firmly in the game. spirit of the fan base.
With four second tier clubs having ceased to exist after last season and with Shenzhen being promoted to CSL, that left a big void to fill ahead of the new campaign.
With the 2020 campaign to have 18 clubs in the second tier, this will require the promotion of seven China League Two clubs to function.
This significant change could arguably see the quality of opponents diminish, which is likely to present a distinct divide between clubs at the top and bottom of the league.
This can allow for a competitive and exciting battle for promotion, but also see more teams trying to secure their status in Ligue 1 for another year.
The image at the top of China League One and arguably the bottom of CSL has been drastically altered due to Tianhai’s disbandment and when the 2020 season finally begins again it could turn out to be one of the most interesting in memory. recent.