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Top 13 Rebuild Saves in Asia - FM23

Looking to explore somewhere different, or even close to home for yourself? We take a look at 13 clubs in AFC who could use a rebuild in FM 2023.

By on Sep 28, 2022   11208 views   0 comments
Club Insights - Top 13 Rebuild Saves in Asia - FM23
After covering Europe in search of clubs to rebuild - and yes there are plenty more then the ones I haven't covered - this time we stop in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to take a look at 13 clubs here whom I feel are in need of a rebuild.

FC Seoul - South Korea - K League 1 [1st Tier]

The Korean club was once the biggest and the most valuable club in K-League 1 - South Korea’s top football division, however since 2017, the club has basically been in one seasonal disaster followed by another. Problems both on and off the pitch continue to plague the club as they hover around 5th place and below in a 12-team league, unable to regain the form of what made them South Korea’s top club.

Seongnam FC - South Korea - K League 1 [1st Tier]

The magpies in the early years of their foundation (established on the 18th March 1989) were one of the most successful clubs in South Korea and within AFC, as IFFHS ranked them as the fifth strongest AFC club in the 20th Century. After re-settling in Seongnam however, the dominant success typical of the club started to dry up even playing in the second tier as recently as the 2018 season.

Busan IPark - South Korea - K League 2 [2nd Tier]

One of the original five founding members of the K League, Busan IPark are a far cry from where they once were. They continuously competed in the first division from their foundation in 1983 till 2015 where they were relegated to the second tier. A single season spell back in the top flight didn’t last and were immediately relegated. Recently the board decided to pursue a general rebuild and saw loads of players leave and at the current time of writing - are struggling at the bottom of the league. Things need to change quickly as starting for the 2023 season, there will be relegation down to the K3 League (3rd Tier) for the first time.

Jeonnam Dragons - South Korea - K League 2 [2nd Tier]

The dragons completed a unique feat last year after winning the South Korean FA Cup while playing the second tier, bringing their trophy cabinet to 4 FA Cup titles with still no league titles. Normally, Jeonnam Dragons were a mainstay in the top flight, but were relegated only a few seasons ago and now remain in the second tier. The challenge starting this season is unique, playing in the second tier while playing in the AFC Champions League group stage because of their cup win. Eventually, the goal is to become one of the biggest clubs in the Korea Republic, and compete against classic rivals and Korean big-boys Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Perth Glory FC - Australia - A-League Men [1st Tier]

Since the establishment of the A-League back in 2005/06, Perth Glory has failed to reach any of the success that they had in the National Soccer League - Australia’s previous top flight division before it folded. While they won the ‘Premier’ in the 2018/19 season, they lost the Grand Final which crowns Australia’s overall season champion. Despite this they still rank high on the list of Australia’s most successful clubs thanks to their achievements of yesteryear.

Newcastle United Jets FC - Australia - A-League Men [1st Tier]

In the A-League there are currently 12 teams, 10 of which have either won a Championship or Premier, Macarthur FC you can forgive for not winning as they’ve only been established within the last 5 years while Western United just won a trophy, Newcastle Jets however…they need some help. Established over 20 years ago, they only have a single Championship to their name, we already talked about Perth Glory but at least Western Sydney Wanderers only just turned 10 years old and won the AFC Champions League. On a season-by-season basis they are very poor, hardly ever getting above 7th (out of 11 teams) for the past 11 years running.

Central Coast Mariners FC - Australia - A-League Men [1st Tier]

Originally, the mariners were always competing for Australia’s top crown, normally found in the top 3 of the league and competing in the Championship finals regularly. A wicked turn of fortunes for the club saw a dreadful six-season spell being either bottom or near it - which also included the worst ever seasons seen in Australian A-League Men history. Recently, there has been a resurgence - two top 5 finishes back-to-back and runners up in the Australian Cup sees a turn of fortunes, but they’re not quite ready to become champions again just yet.

Shanghai Shenhua F.C. - China - Chinese Super League [1st Tier]

In the modern Chinese Super League era (since 2004), Shanghai Shenhua are the nearly-men with no league title. Their last league title which was in 2003 was revoked due to match fixing, but they have won multiple cup tournaments and older league titles throughout their history. The Flower of Shanghai hardly ever get past the group stages of the AFC Champions League as well and resort to long domestic cup runs to fulfil the season as they seem to have a knack for coming second but never first in the league.

Qingdao Hainiu F.C. (1990) - China - Chinese Super League [1st Tier]

The sea-bulls were a regular main-stay in the CSL, however by the mid 2010’s, poor performances caught up with the club and they were relegated in 2013, suffering a further relegation to China’s third tier in 2016. Recently a promotion back to China League One (second tier) sees a rebound in fortunes for the club but still a long way back to climb to the top flight. They also have had some issues off the field as well, in 2019 suffering a points deduction for rule violations. Off field stability is needed although it is a rarity in Chinese football.

Tianjin Jinmen Tiger F.C. - China - Chinese Super League [1st Tier]

The Tigers are one of only four clubs that have stayed in the top tier since the establishment of the Chinese Super League, but their only league title successes came in the pre-professional and reform era (1960, 1980 and 1983) where they were regularly in the top flight and competitive. The most impressive reward that could be given to the club is not being dissolved or folding despite the difficulties off the pitch as it was assumed they would go bust as recently as 2021.

Geylang International F.C. - Singapore - Singapore Premier League [1st Tier]

In the pre-professional league era which came to fruition in 1996, the eagles were one of the most dominant and biggest clubs in Singapore - winning six consecutive titles on the bounce. In the early years of the professional league, Geylang were one of the top clubs, winning the league twice - but the last title came in the 2001 season and only one Singapore Cup to show for it. Performances on the confederation level aren’t very impressive either and the club needs a rebuild to push back to the dominant force they used to be.

Chonburi F.C. - Thailand - Thai League 1 [1st Tier]

With the new Thailand Premier League in 2007, Chonburi arrived from the Provincial League and became champions. Regularly competing near the top and for other silverware after their early success and competing on the continent - recent years have seen mediocrity. The last five seasons have seen the club finish 7th or lower in a 16 team league but some relatively good runs in the cup competitions. Whether they reach the top again remains to be seen.

Police Tero F.C. - Thailand - Thai League 1 [1st Tier]

The Thai fallen giants - Police Tero were one of Thailand’s greatest clubs. In the early years they were ultra competitive domestically, and not just that - having a storied run in the AFC Champions League resulting in a runners-up medal in the 2002/03 final versus Al Ain where they lost 2-1. Interestingly things never really picked up for the club, eventually declining and falling into financial ruin resulting in relegation in 2018. A quick return-promotion took place but the club competed continuously near the bottom end of the table.

That’s it from myself! If you’re going to manage in Asia, where abouts? Let us know in the comments below.

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