K-League Challenge 2016

Discussion on K League Classic (K1), K League Challenge (K2), FA Cup and other major competitions.
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MipoFanatic
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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby MipoFanatic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:51 pm

I doubt the Police will win the league. But regardless of how they finish, the league will probably just strike them from the table when determining automatic and playoff-based promotions.

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby SteveW » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:29 am

Yep that seems to be exactly the plan Sampo. Just pretend Ansan don't exist for the purpose of working things out.
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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby MipoFanatic » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:18 am

Just over 1,100 fans at Daegu's 60,000-capacity World Cup stadium yesterday.

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You have to wonder about this league sometimes.
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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby Sampo » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:00 pm

Well, they were all at the baseball?..... oh wait....

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby eujin » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:40 pm

MipoFanatic wrote:Just over 1,100 fans at Daegu's 60,000-capacity World Cup stadium yesterday.

To be fair, if there really were 1,100 fans there, that's pretty good.

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby Holyjoe » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:02 am

Indeed, second highest attendance of the weekend in the K2 as well. Just look at that Goyang attendance...

Gangwon 1-2 Daejeon (842)
Daegu 0-1 Seoul E-Land (1,146)
Chungju 8-1 Ansan (388)
Bucheon 1-0 Anyang (1,518)
Goyang 2-3 Gyeongnam (124)

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby MipoFanatic » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:38 am

For the sake of comparison... weekend attendances from the Japanese second division:

Fagiano Okayama vs. Cerezo Osaka (15,203)
Montedio Yamagata vs. Tokyo Verdy (5,584)
Giravanz Kitakyushu vs. Kamatamare Sanuki (2,307)
Kyoto Sanga vs. Gifu (7,299)
Mito Hollyhock vs. Yokohama (5,517)
JEF United vs. Matsumoto Yamaga (12,732)
Machida Zelvia vs. Roasso Kumamoto (4,218)
Zweigen Kanazawa vs. Shimizu S-Pulse (6,655)
Renofa Yamaguchi vs. Tokushima Vortis (4,008)
Ehime vs. Consadole Sapporo (2,916)
ThespaKusatsu Gunma vs. V-Varen Nagasaki (2,980)

Japan's lowest attendance some 800 punters more than Korea's highest. :smt100
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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby SteveW » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:36 pm

How long has j2 existed vs k2 though? Apples and oranges.
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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby eujin » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:59 pm

SteveW wrote:How long has j2 existed vs k2 though? Apples and oranges.

I'm not sure I fully buy that argument. People should be going along because they know the club, not because they know the tournament. There are a few very new teams in the Challenge, but plenty of others that are at least as old, if not older than most of the clubs in the J2. How much of a core support does Daegu really have in the Daegu area? How do the young kids see the team and the players? Are they slowly building up something as big as Fagiano Okayama or are they slowly going down the tubes?

I've always thought that part of the issue is Korean attitude. Koreans are first class people, only the very best is good enough for them. While Goyang on a rainy Tuesday might be fine for some sad white men, Koreans are thinking globally and where they can make their mark on the world stage. Even in the baseball the crowds are a fraction of what they are in the US or Japan and that's not because places like Seoul and Busan would be considered small markets in MLB.

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby SteveW » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:56 am

How many of the clubs in the K2 are established clubs though?

The Police have had more homes than they've had seasons almost and you can't expect them to develop a loyal following thanks to their special situation.

Bucheon and Anyang are new teams built from the ashes of old ones. And have never played at the top level. And they're close to Seoul. Again some particular reasons there why they might struggle to build up crowds.

E-Land are not yet 2 seasons old. Goyang are a season old in their current form and a handful of years old in Goyang. Chungju have the same checkered history of relocation.

So the finger really points to Busan, Daejeon, Daegu, Gyeongnam and Gangwon in terms of underperforming. The relegated teams.

Gyeongnam and Gangwon were hardly well established teams before they went down. They're a decade old. Relegation had a huge impact as does their relocation and bouncing around the province approach. I don't think we should underestimate the fact that relegation hasn't been a thing in Korea until the past couple of years. There's no culture of sticking with your team when it goes down and trying to fight your way back up. There's also hardly any coverage of the Challenge to keep people interested. However bad the awareness of the Classic is it's a hundred times worse in Challenge.

Busan has always been a problem. Daejeon and Daegu have had decent crowds when they were relatively successful but are in a malaise currently.

I'm just not sure what comparing to J2 is supposed to tell us. The K2 is still finding its feet and wrestling with all the practical problems - it's adding new teams, relocating others, possibly losing some or at least trying to stop some dying. It has army teams, police teams, an odd number of teams, a bizarre range of teams from relegated chaebol sides, citizen clubs, and tiny clubs that are probably more K3 than K2 in Goyang and Chungju.

The teams are stuck in oversized stadia with no atmosphere and have no money to do very much. What's the answer? More taxpayers money spent on football grounds of a better size? Hard to justify. More money spent marketing? Not sure where the clubs are going to find the cash. Take it out of the playing budget and make the product worse? You could make an argument I guess that instead of signing a rubbish Brazilian they could market the club better but I'm not sure how far a few tens of thousands of dollars goes.

Both leagues in Korea (and the others outside the K-League too) are a bit of a mess at the minute. Match fixing, bribery, no money, chaebols cutting back, best players leaving for China or the Middle East. This is crisis time. In the UK this would be the time for the hardcore to hunker down and get behind the team. But in Korea the hardcore is about 100 people. So what can you do?

I can't explain for the life of me why Goyang can only get 150 out of 1m in Ilsan to go to a game in an excellent stadium in a decent location in a place that seems to care about sport and I have no idea what they could feasibly do to turn that into 5 or 10,000. I'm sure it could be done but you'd need someone willing to throw money at the problem first.
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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby eujin » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:15 am

SteveW wrote: I'm just not sure what comparing to J2 is supposed to tell us.

It tells us that the Japanese are doing something right, and it's worth looking at what they do to see if it can be applied in Korea. I always found that the visibility of matches was much higher in Japan for whatever reasons: better advertising, better media relations, promotional tie-ins, volunteers, civic pride, word of mouth, whatever it is.

A lot of the things people give as excuses for poor attendances in Korea are seen not to be such a problem in J2. There are a lot of teams squeezed in and around Tokyo, teams are playing in over-sized stadia with running tracks, competing with the baseball, being owned by corporations, trying to represent entire provinces, moving matches around, all that stuff and they still get a decent showing.

E-Land threw a bunch of money at the problem recently and by your own admission there were some things that they did well and some things that they didn't do so well. Gyeongnam are still getting decent crowds in the few thousands to turn up when they go on their travels. What is it that persuades the good people of Jinju or Yangsan to turn up each and every year? Changwon Football Center is a much better ground to watch a match at than either Jinju or Yangsan. Yet somebody somewhere is drumming up support somehow and I doubt the club is blowing half of their non-existent budget on drawing a crowd to their few matches away from Changwon.

Of course, if you're regularly getting less than a thousand in a stadium that holds fifty times that, there's always the Queen's Park solution...go amateur.

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby MipoFanatic » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:34 am

I think it's safe to say that most (national team/foreign club) football fans in South Korea do not relate to their local club, nor feel any connection with it. It's difficult to build any momentum when you start with that.

Two of the Japanese clubs listed above, Zweigen Kanazawa (6,655) and Renofa Yamaguchi (4,008) only recently were promoted to the J. League from non-league football. Same with Matsumoto Yamaga (12,648 the previous week when they were at home). Those clubs began life modestly in the local/prefectural leagues, gradually building over time.

In Korea, clubs try to begin life with a flashy entrance as high up the pyramid as they're allowed/able to begin, but then what?

Even Seoul United, which began life down in the K3 as a supposedly fan-owned club with a lot of fan excitement and corporate sponsorship, soon fizzled out into a fairly typical lower-division side with tiny crowds.

Reasons you both mention are likely part of the equation: snooty attitudes against supporting anything perceived as not being elite, lack of media coverage, inappropriately large venues that kill atmosphere, etc.

But I go back to my first point: how did a non-league side like Zweigen Kanazawa get people in Kanazawa to give a sh*t about them long before the TV crews did? How did they build the fan-base over the years before promotion to the J. League?

The KFA is currently looking at Japan in terms of emulating its pyramid structure, but perhaps the way clubs are run is what Korea should be looking to copy.

Football clubs need to be perceived as being actual *clubs* that people are a part of, rather than just one option in a sea of single-hit entertainment choices. It needs to be more grassroots: rather than just being a show that *someone else* puts on with magical corporate/government funding, how do you get people to see the club as being a social outlet for the community? How do you get people volunteering to promote the club by handing out flyers at subway stations, etc?

I think many of these clubs need to hit the proverbial reset button, and find new ways to structure the club and attract fans (club members?).

Why is Daegu playing at the World Cup stadium? I'm sure there's pressure on the city council to use the city-run facility, but all that's achieving is killing the club. They should honestly go play at a more intimate venue - either a university ground or a 2003 Universiade venue - until they can crack the 3,000- to 5,000-mark regularly. If the venues are tricky to get to, run shuttle buses from central Daegu.

With all the absurd and needless construction projects that go on in Korea, you can't tell me that there isn't the cash for a 15,000-capacity stadium in Daegu, Korea's fourth-largest city. There are now venues custom-built for rugby, volleyball and even handball in Korea. There are several new baseball stadia/complexes. Football is the second-largest sport - surely there's interest in the venues.

I realize that not using the World Cup stadia is an admission that they are colossal financial white elephants, but don't we already know that? How long must we condemn clubs to play in venues in which they can't even fill five percent of the seats?

The K-League also needs to sort out its media coverage. Holyjoe wrote an article 13 years ago bemoaning the lack of TV coverage, and the problem still persists today.

Similar issues with a lack of international coverage. I sit here in Canada and cannot (properly) watch K-League highlights. No company here has bought TV or online streaming rights, yet when I try to watch streams via SPOTV, Naver or Daum, I'm geoblocked. What is the point of that? The K-League might as well let people watch for free in countries with no rights-holders to help build up interest. It's easier for me to keep tabs on the National League than the K-League. (Meanwhile, there is an excellent J. League package coming soon that will allow me to pay to stream every match from all three divisions.)

It's also a major hassle to order any club merchandise from outside Korea. Do any club websites accept PayPal? They generally expect you to make some sort of dodgy bank transfer, which brings up a language barrier (not to mention bank fees) in manually negotiating that. And we wonder why earned revenue is such a minor part of club budgets...

Korean football needs a lot of administrative improvements.
Last edited by MipoFanatic on Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby Sampo » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:39 am

I am trying to think, and its early for me, but what have been the significant improvements in the K-League in the past decade? Rules are still seemingly made and enforced on an ad hoc basis. The casual spectator is still not invested in the teams, or the league. Getting information and stats are easier I suppose, but I don't want to give too much credit to the K-League for that :D . It seems like other young leagues around the world have made some real, and large, steps in growth in the past 10 years; but the K-League hasn't. :(

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby jamesedrupt » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:43 am

When Gyeongnam were in the classic and doing well we were getting 8,000 plus to most of our home games. Since the formation of the local baseball team NC Dinos our attendances have plummeted drastically. Of course relegation hit us hard with less attractive teams coming to play down here. NC Dinos have become a very successful unit in the KBO and are always near the top of the league. Simply put. Fans have gone up the road to Masan to watch them and not us.

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Re: K-League Challenge 2016

Postby MipoFanatic » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:03 pm

Not to disrupt the attendance discussion above (pours more petrol), but the end to the Challenge season looks rather tasty. Two important matches in the third-last round this mid-week:

Daegu (2nd) vs. Bucheon (3rd)
Busan IPark (5th) vs. Gangwon (4th)

The race for 5th-place (the final playoff spot) looks interesting:

Busan - 58 pts
Seoul E - 55 pts
Daejeon - 54 pts (only two matches left to play)

Busan's last three games: Gangwon (h), Bucheon (h), Seoul E (a)
Seoul E's last three games: Chungju (a), Goyang (a), Busan (h)
Daejeon's last two games: Chungju (h), Daegu (a)

It's a tall ask for Daejeon to end ahead of Busan, but Seoul E might be able to do it. Busan have three difficult opponents, whereas Seoul E's last games include the Challenge's bottom pair.

That Seoul E vs. Busan match in the final round might decide which side sneaks it.
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