Shanghai Zobon taken over by lower league club

China League club, Shanghai 9th City, owned by online gaming giants 9th City Group, has taken a 90 percent stake in China Super League club Shanghai Zobon, Sinosoc reported. Zobon retains 10 percent for next season, with 9th City owning the club outright from 2007 onwards. The 9th City Group is the leading online games company in China and recently signed a deal with Coca Cola to promote its hugely successful World of Warcraft online game.

According to Sinosoc, CEO Zhu Jun "said the reason he has decided to take over the club before the end of the current season is to give him time to put together a marketing plan and attract sponsors ahead of the 2006 season."

The club was purchased from Zhuhai Anping by Shanghai Zhongbang Real Estate Co in January 2004. After gaining promotion to the Super League in November 2004, the club was relocated from the southern coast of Guangdong province to Shanghai.

See also: Shanghai 9th City interested in China's Inter Shanghai (30 Aug) and Charlton launch Chinese youth academy with Zobon (28 July)