Banned From 2021: Chinese Super League Team Names & The Many Sponsor(s) They Include

Most Chinese football teams have to change their name before the beginning of the 2021 season due to a new policy of the Chinese Football Association - they won't be allowed to have a name that includes a company / sponsor name. We take a look at all 2021 Chinese Super League teams and their names with most information retrieved via the South China Morning Post.

Chinese Teams & Their Sponsor Names

14 of 16 Chinese Super League teams have names that include a company's name, including such famous teams as Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai SIPG, Tianjin Teda, Beijing Guoan.

14 of 16 Chinese Super League teams have names that include a company's name

According to the South China Morning Post, the CFA "said the club name could not exceed four Chinese characters, nor can it use non-Chinese characters. It may not contain company names or brand names for club owners or affiliated parties".

The Chinese Football Association already said it will not make any "exceptions" in teams being forced to adopt neutral names.

Clubs risk not being allowed to play in 2021 season if they won't change the name

It is reported that all teams who are affected have to submit a proposal for their new name before the end of the year or clubs risk not being allowed to play in 2021 season, which kicks off in February 2021.

We are not sure how exactly the name changes will affect the club's logos. We think it is certain that all included company names of the logos have to removed, while we think teams whose logo does not include the company name will keep the same.

The logo of Guangzhou Evergrande does not include the sponsor name "Evergrande" - it should remain the same.

Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC ✘ Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC

The two companies Guoan (36%) and Sinobo (64) are owners of the club. The teams used Beijing FC in the last few seasons of the AFC Champions League, and are expected to follow that domestically.

Shanghai SIPG ✘ Shanghai SIPG

SIPG is short for Shanghai Shanghai International Port Group. They are rumored to become Shanghai FC.

Shandong Luneng Taishan ✘ Shandong Luneng Taishan

Shandong Luneng Taishan has to drop the Luneng to become Shandong Taishan. The club is owned by Shandong Luneng Group Co., Ltd., an electrical/electronic manufacturing company. In case you are wondering. "Shandong" is the name of the club's region, "Taishan" means Mount Tai, the name of a local mountain.

Chongqing Dangdai Lifan ✘ Chongqing Dangdai Lifan

The club is named after the Dangdai International Group. The Lifan literally refers to a "great sail", the name of the original owners, who are also reported to be sponsors.

Rival Chinese football fans unite against ‘neutral’ name rule

8 Dec 2020

Shanghai Greenland Shenhua ✘ Shanghai Greenland Shenhua

As reported by the South Chinese Morning Post, "the club has been given a let-off by the CFA’s clarification of the rules. Original owners Shenhua left as early as 2001 but the club kept the name ("Flower of Shanghai"). They have been owned since 2014 by Greenland – and officially called Shanghai Greenland Shenhua – who will be dropped from the name".

Hebei China Fortune ✘ Hebei China Fortune

Hebei China Fortune is owned by China Fortune Land Development Company since 2015.

Henan Jianye ✘ Henan Jianye

Henan Jianye refers to the Henan Jianye Construction Group, which has owned the club since 1999. Jianye itself is another name for the ancient city of Jiankang.

Tianjin Teda ✘ Tianjin Teda

Tianjin Teda is owned by Teda (Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area) since 1998.

Guangzhou R&F ✘ Guangzhou R&F

Guangzhou R&F is named after owners R&F Properties, which took over the club and renamed them in 2011.

Guangzhou R&F F.C. already changed their name to Guangzhou City in December 2020.

Dalian Pro ✅

Dalian Pro was renamed in 2019 and does just include the city name with the Professional (Pro) added. They previously were named after owner Dalian Yifang Group (Dalian Yifang).

Shenzhen FC ✅?

There is no mention of the Kaisa Group which owns it. But it is not sure to be safe yet.

Qingdao Huanghai ✘ Qingdao Huanghai

Huanghai means "Yellow sea" – where the port city is located – but Qingdao Huanghai Health Industry Group is a minority owner so the team name will have to be changed.

Wuhan Zall ✘ Wuhan Zall

Wuhan Zall is majority owned by Wuhan Zall Development Company since 2011, the club will need to drop the company name.

Changchun Yatai ✘ Changchun Yatai

Yatai refers to the Jilin Yatai Group, which has funded the club since they founded it in 1996.

What do you think of almost all Chinese teams having names that include their sponsors? Do you like that it is set to change? Share your thoughts in the comments below.