Chengdu Blades

Chengdu Blades

Football club infobox
clubname = Chengdu Blades

fullname = Chengdu Blades Football Club
nickname = Blades, Five bull
founded = 1996
ground = Chengdu Sports Center, Chengdu
capacity = 42,000
chairman = flagicon|CHN Xu Hongtao
manager = flagicon|CHN Li Bing
league = Chinese Super League
season = 2007
position = Chinese Jia League, 2nd (promoted)

Chengdu Blades F.C. (成都谢菲联足球俱乐部, means Chengdu Sheffield United F.C.) are a football team from Chengdu, PR China who are owned by Sheffield United. They play in the Chinese Super League. This club was formerly known as Chengdu Wuniu (Five Bulls) named after their first sponsor, the Wuniu (Five Bulls) Cigarette Company.



The club was formed in February 1996 under the name Chengdu Wuniu and entered into PR China's Yi League. In their inaugural year the team topped both their second round group as well as their final round group and progressed to the semi-finals before losing to Shenzhen Jinpeng 2-1 on aggregate. [ [ China League 1996 ] ]


Chengdu's second season in 1997 saw them rise into China's Jia B League, this time coming second in the 2nd round group but again topping the final round group. They went onto win both their legs of the quarter finals 1-0 against Beijing Kuanli and after brushing aside Shaanxi Guoli 2-0 they progressed through to the final but lost 1-0 however they were still promoted along with the winners Jiangsu Jiajia as well as both semi-final losers. [ [ China League 1997 ] ]

After promotion Chengdu Wuniu started well losing only 2 of their first 9 matches in the higher division however in round 10 they were well beaten 8-0 away to Liaoning Tianlun. Their best win came in their penultimate match of the season when they beat Jiangsu Jiajia 4-1. The team ended mid-table in 8th out of 12. [ [ China League 1998 ] ]

Chengdu's second year in Jia B once again started well with the team losing just 1 of their first 13th games before succumbing to Beijing Kuanli away 4-0. At season end after 22 matches Chengdu Wuniu finished 6th with 9 wins and 8 draws. [ [ China 1999 ] ]

Name change

The start of the millennium season saw a name change for the team to Chengdu Wuniu Guoteng and proceeded with a poorer start than in previous years including defeat away to Guangzhou Apollo 5-0 however the team did manage to finish in 8th place. [ [ China 2000 ] ]

Match fixing

The team started well for the 2001 season going unbeaten in their first 8 games and went on to finish in 3rd position however the season was tarnished when match fixing allegations came to light involving Chengdu Wuniu Guoteng and four other teams. The team's record win over Sichuan Mianyang Taiji 11-2 and their 4-2 away victory against Jiangsu Shuntian were put under the spotlight and as a consequence all coaches and players involved in both matches (along with another game featuring the other two teams) were banned for one year, and all five teams had 3 months to reform and re-apply for playing in the next season's CFA competitions. The only points were deducted from Sichuan Mianyang Taiji but they were relegated as punishment. To make the season even more disappointing Chengdu Wuniu Guoteng fell at the first round of the Mexin Doors FA Cup losing 2-1 away to Jia A League side Tianjin Teda CEC. [ [ China 2001 ] ]


In 2002 Chengdu Wuniu Guoteng were reformed as a result of the previous season's match fixing and were renamed Chengdu Taihe. Early in the season the team final progressed passed the first round of the Fuji Films FA Cup beating Shenyang Ginde 3-2 in nearby Deyang with a last minute goal however they were soon on their way home again after losing 3-1 to Qingdao Yizhong Hainiu once again in Deyang. The league competition followed in much the same vein with the team finishing in 9th of 12 however a mid-season venue change to City Stadium in Luzhou can't have helped however Santos did manage to achieve joint top divisional scorer with 10 goals for the club. [ [ China 2002 ] ]

The team crashed out yet again in the earliest stage of the Landi FA Cup in 2003 losing 2 of their 3 group matches. The team started using City Stadium in Deyang as it's home ground this season and its name reverted back to the name Chengdu Wuniu in round 6 of the league in July. They finished the year in a respectable 6th place out of 14 after the division had been enlarged and beat 4th placed Jiangsu Shuntian 5-1 in October. [ [ China 2003 ] ]

Chengdu Wuniu's poor cup performance continued in 2004 losing 5-3 on penalties after extra time to Qingdao Beilaite in the first round of the Landi FA Cup. The poor performance also contributed to their final position of 13th out of 17 that year after another enlargement. This season was also played at two differing home venues, the Provincial Sports Centre in Chengdu as well as City Stadium in Deyang. [ [ China 2004 ] ]

The 2005 season was finally played back at one home venue in Chengdu, the Chengdu Sports Centre. They again crashed out of the CFA Cup in the first round, this time to Chinese Super League side Shanghai International. Their poor performance in the league also continued, finishing 11th of 14 in the league. [ [ China 2005 ] ]

Foreign Ownership

Chengdu Wuniu underwent another name change in January 2006 when they were bought out by English team Sheffield United. Now called Chengdu Blades to reflect their new owner's nickname The Blades, the team played with much improved performance and by the end of the year had climbed to 4th position in the table, their 2nd best ever finish at that time. [ [ China 2006 ] ]

Promotion to Super League

Their opening game of the season against Haerbin Yiteng finished 6-0 in favour of the Blades in front of a home crowd of 4000. The opposing Head Coach, Wang Hongli created a Chinese League record for the fastest resignation after just one game.

Chengdu also won both of their next two away matches 1-0. After a goalless draw in round 4 they beat Beijing Hongdeng 2-0 at home before another goalless draw against Nanjing Yoyo followed by another home win, 3-0 against Qingdao Hailifeng.

The Blades finally conceded their first goal this season against Tibet Huitong on 26th May 2007 but still went on to win 2-1 and returned another clean sheet the following week winning 4-0 against Yanbian. The Blades conceded two more goals in their next two matches against Shanghai Kangbo and BIT Beijing but won both games 3-1 and 5-1 respectively. Their last game before the China Jia break was drawn 1-1 against Jiangsu Shuntian.

Just before the season restart the Blades faced China Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in a friendly to test the player's fitness and ability. Although Shanghai went ahead the Blades came back to win 2-1. Round 14 commenced with a 3-1 win against Harbin Yiteng and the Blades moved onto the top spot. However, following consecutive 1-1 draws with Nanchang Bayi and Chongqing Lifan, the Blades fell back into 2nd position. This was cemented by their first defeat of the season, losing 2-1 against leaders Guangzhou Guangyao.

The Blades returned to winning ways with 4 straight wins against Beijing Hongdeng (2-0), Nanjing Yoyo (6-1), Qingdao Hailifeng (2-0) and Tibet Huitong (3-0) and after 20 games the Blades were still in the second automatic promotion place with just another 4 matches to play, 5 points behind Guangzhou Pharmaceutical.

The Blades snatched victory 2-1 in the last minute against Yanbian in their next away game to put themselves within touching distance of promotion requiring just one more win which followed a week later in round 23 with Chengdu securing their place in next season's beating Shanghai Stars 4-2 in front of their home crowd.

Chengdu drew their penultimate game of the season 1-1 against BIT Beijing and faced former promotion rivals, 3rd placed Jiangsu Shuntian in the final fixture of the China League at home on 27th October which finished 0-0 to ensure a promotion party just two seasons after the buyout by Sheffield United.

Current Season

Chengdu had the privilege of staging the opening ceremony of the 2008 season of the Chinese Super League before their first match at home to Liaoning F.C. which was broadcast live on Chinese TV. [ [,,10418~1276047,00.html Blades ready for kick-off] ] The newcomers fell behind after an hours play but managed to earn a point just a few minutes later after Liu Cheng equalised. [ [ report] ] After an away defeat to 2007 champions Changchun Yatai on 5th April, the Blades had two successive victories against Zhejiang Lücheng and Dalian Shide to move into 3rd place. And on April 27, 2008, Chengdu Blades beat Shanghai Shenhua with a score 2-1 and moved into the second place. This was followed by a 3-1 away loss to Tianjin Teda and then a 1-1 draws against Qingdao Jonoon.

On 12 May Chengdu was rocked by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, none of the Chengdu Blades personnel were injured and in the following days both staff and players donated blood for the cause. The players also visited schools affected by the earthquake and the club donated more than £11,000 along with tents, umbrellas, water, food and clothes including more than 5000 football shirts to people affected in the region. [ [,,10418~1314168,00.html Chengdu staff become aid volunteers] ] At the following game against Changsha Ginde on 17 May China League's first ever minute's silence was held before the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, all gate money from this rounds games around China would also be given to the disaster zones. [ [,,10418~1280595,00.html Blades set to return to action] ]


Current squad

"As of 8 September, 2008"

Notable former players

*flagicon|AUS Doug Ithier
*flagicon|CHN Li Haiqiang


External links

* [ Official Site] cn icon
* [ Official Site] en icon

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