As the idea of transferring Gimpo, Gyeonggi-do, to Seoul has become a key issue in political circles, the possibility has been raised that it could affect professional soccer’s K League.
This is because Gimpo FC, which is based in Gimpo City, is currently playing in the K League 2, the second tier of professional soccer.
Gimpo FC is a civic club founded in 2013 and has been competing in the K League 2 since 2022.
The team is led by head coach Choi Jung-woon, who was nicknamed “Red Tomah” by fans during his playing days.
Gimpo Mayor Kim Byung-soo is also the chairman of the board of Gimpo FC, the club’s foundation.
If Gimpo’s move to Seoul, which is currently being discussed in political circles, becomes a reality, it could mean a number of changes for the club.
First, the club is currently a civic club, so if the city of Gimpo were to move to Seoul, there would be no entity to provide financial support.
A change of name is also inevitable. If Gimpo becomes “Gimpo-gu, Seoul,” it will be difficult to continue financial support for a professional soccer team in a single district in Seoul, and it will be difficult to isolate “Gimpo-gu” as the home of Gimpo FC.
According to the current KFA club regulations, there are no special restrictions on the place of origin.
Article 1, paragraph 1 of the Club Regulations states that it is the ‘home region of a specific administrative unit’, and Article 6 of the Club Regulations states that the ‘home region is an area designated by the club based on the initial application for membership in the K League and is determined with the approval of the board of directors and general assembly’.
It is also a condition that the club must have a stadium that complies with Articles 2 through 45 of Chapter 3 of these regulations.
Gimpo uses Gimpo Solter Soccer Stadium as its home stadium, which currently has a capacity of 5,40 seats.
Gimpo, which is in third place in the K League 2 this season, could be promoted to the K League 1 next season, and the city of Gimpo has announced plans to expand the stadium to more than 10,000 seats by April 2024.
Therefore, if Gimpo were to move to Seoul, it is possible that Gimpo would naturally become the third Seoul club in the K League, as long as the financial aspects of the current Gimpo Citizen’s Club system are resolved.
Currently, FC Seoul (K League 1) and Seoul Eland (K League 2) are based in Seoul.
Eland paid a founding fee of 500 million won to the KFA when it launched its team in 2014, while FC Seoul paid a total of 7.5 billion won, including 5 billion won for the construction of the Seoul World Cup stadium and 2.5 billion won for the professional soccer development fund, when it changed its affiliation from Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, to Seoul in 2004.
An official from the KFA said, “We are monitoring the situation regarding the possibility of Gimpo’s transfer to Seoul,” adding, “The K League’s regional affiliation system has been officially implemented since 1987, and there has never been a case of a club’s affiliation being transferred to another administrative region.” 무지개토토
The federation’s rules for changing the location of a team’s affiliation state that a team must apply for the change by September 30 of the year prior to the year of the change, and the change is finalized after approval by the general assembly, and the team cannot change its affiliation during the season.