PRC's Qingdao Etsong FC may be for sale

Chinese cable manufacturer Qingdao Zhongneng Group has announced plans to sell its majority ownership in Qingdao Etsong Football Club, Soccer Investor reported (13 January 2006). Represented by the local Qingdao Sports Bureau, Zhongneng held a press conference to thank the club and its fans for the support that saw the team finish the 2005 China Super League in seventh position, but revealed that in 2006 they can no longer guarantee the financial backing they have given since buying the club from state-run tobacco producers Qindgao Etsong Group in December 2004.

Zhongneng say they will give priority to proposals from companies in the Qingdao area, but ill also accept offers from potential partners in other Chinese provinces. According to the local media, however, Zhongneng held the press conference through the sports bureau to put pressure on the Qingdao local government in order to get the kind of preferential treatment that would make it worthwhile to continue running a football club.