Cheonan City FC is faltering on its way to its first win of the season and a winning streak.
Cheonan got their much-anticipated ‘first win’ at home against Seongnam FC on the 23rd. Cheonan, the ‘youngest club’ to challenge in the K League 2 this season, went winless in their opening 20 games, and had a difficult time, conceding in the last minute of games after taking the lead.
The prelude to a turnaround began in July. In the summer transfer market, the team brought in position-specific veterans such as midfielder Shin Hyun-min and forward Jung Seok-hwa, and even replaced a foreign striker. The team’s average age was a bit young, but with the addition of these players to anchor the team, things started to change.
The team is undefeated in four games in July. They started on the 8th against Seoul Eland (0-0) and went unbeaten against Cheongju in Chungbuk (2-2) and FC Anyang (1-1). Despite the lack of victories, the team’s spirits were high. They started off with three points, and against Seongnam, Motta’s theater goal just before the end of the second half gave them a 3-2 victory.
Unlike the team that was strengthened by the first victory, the internal atmosphere was chaotic. This was due to the conflict with Cheonan City. Ahn Byung-mo and the secretariat had a good relationship with Cheonan. The owner believed in and supported the team, but they began to disagree on the budget for player acquisition, and the atmosphere changed when the new secretary general arrived in June.
Cheonan City had questions about the 2023 budget. It exceeded the budget according to the budgeting guidelines, and they feared a financial collapse. This included the signing of foreign players. The process of signing players outside the budget deepened the rift, which has recently boiled over.
Cheonan will hold a board meeting on Nov. 31 to discuss Ahn’s dismissal. Ahn, who has been at the helm of the club since its inception, has given up all control. 꽁머니지급
The atmosphere in the squad, which was at its peak, is tainted by this internal conflict. Furthermore, Cheonan recently appointed a technical director without any formal process. There was no official announcement, but he has already joined the team. Cheonan City FC is a foundation organization, so it’s problematic that they literally “plugged in” someone from outside the organization instead of hiring them openly.
The players are determined to continue their winning streak, as they had to work hard for their first win. The fans are also energized by the team. However, the in-season infighting is affecting the team’s mood.
The team is not immune to politics. It’s unfortunate that Cheonan, which was supposed to be a “united” team, has been shaken by recent events.