China Sport Tourisme

Shanghai Shenhua Football Club – The People’s Club

Football in China has been growing since early 2010’s thanks to many investors in different cities. Bringing famous foreign players who are interested in a new culture, a new project but mainly thanks to the huge salary that clubs are offering.

One of those clubs is the Shanghai Shenhua. Which can be translated to “The Flower of Shanghai”. The team is now based in the Kangqiao district of Shanghai and their home stadium is the Hongkou Football Stadium which can host up to 33,000 people, which mysteriously took fire 2 years ago from now.


We need a bit of history of the club to understand what they are trying to do nowadays.

Shenhua was first called the East China Football Club back in 1910. The football league gradually expanded and the team was allowed to name themselves after their own province of Shanghai in 1957.

Shuenhua became a professional club in 1993.

In 2007, the owner of the inner-city rival of Shanghai United, Zhu Jun bought a majority share of Shanghai Shenhua and began to merge Shanghai United into Shanghai Shenhua.

Jun’s investment within the club reaches 150 million Yuan, which he thought that it would allow him to control 70 percent of the club shares’. When the other shareholders decided not to agree with this arrangement, Zhu Jun decided to pull his funding of the club. Immediately a bad atmosphere began to grow within the club and players. A feeling of not being a trustworthy institution. Hence resulted in the team finishing 9th on 16th.

Disappointing result for a club with high ambitions. Moreover, both of their new foreign recruits Anelka and Drogba leaving the club after just a single season at Shenhua.

After this problem with the investors, players began to understand that there was something wrong with money and investors. Rolando Schiavi, Patricio Toranzo and Giovanni Moreno refuse to play the 31 March 2013 league game because of unpaid wages. It caused a huge scandal in the football industry and the trust regard to the new market that was China.

Since Greenland took over the club, more and more foreign players were brought. Everyone is getting paid and the club is tremendously growing even abroad. At first Chinese football was seen as a bubble that could pop anytime. This was without the implication of the President of China Xi Jinping.


Which is related in this article:


Shanghai Shenhua Football Club is a club with high ambition and expectation from their players and fans. This club is more implemented in Shanghainese culture and minds. This is kind of the club from the people for the people. You see more often people wearing this jersey than with their rivals from the same city, Shanghai SIPG where famous Brazilian players such as Oscar and Hulk and now playing since 2 and 4 years.


Direct link to the Shenhua shop :

Shanghai Shenhua titles :

CFA champion in 1961 / 1962 / 1995

China FA Cup 1998 / 2017



Major foreign players to have played at Shenhua :

Didier Drogba / Nicolas Anelka / Freddy Guarin / Demba Ba / Carlos Tevez



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