Bankrupt team’s employees to work for free

Clubs

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Hebei FC’s employees have offered to work for free in a bid to help the Chinese Super League (CSL) club cope with their financial crisis, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a letter circulating on social media on Monday.

Hebei are on the brink of becoming the second team from the country’s top division to shut their doors this year after the club issued a statement last month saying operations would not continue until a new investor was secured.

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Hebei are owned by property developers China Fortune Land Development and have previously been among the biggest spenders during the boom years of Chinese football.

The letter, signed by 60 Hebei employees, said the employees are willing to work for Hebei without being paid until the club’s “structural reform is completed.”

“Since 2020, Hebei FC has run into unprecedented difficulties,” the letter read, according to Xinhua news agency. “It is true that the club cannot pay water and electricity bills and travel expenses.

“So long as the club can survive, we wish we can work for it without seeking any pay from today until its structural reform is completed with its crisis over.”

Hebei lured Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Mascherano to the Chinese league on huge wages, while former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini led the team from 2016 to 2018.

Despite their big spending, Hebei had limited success, with their best performance coming in 2017 when they finished fourth.

Hebei have qualified for the championship rounds of this year’s CSL, which are due to be played in December.

They were knocked out of the Chinese FA Cup by second division side Shaanxi Changan last month.

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