Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2 February 2004 - The Cheetahs Get Their Seoul Back

On 2 February 2004, K-League side Anyang LG Cheetahs returned to their former home of Seoul, but not without controversy.

Originally founded in 1983 as Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso FC, the club was first based in the Chungcheong region. But in 1990, they moved to Seoul as part of a K-League initiative to improve the league's attendances and overall financial health. Two others teams joined them in Seoul. It was a successful move for Lucky-Goldstar, who won the league that year. The following year, they changed their name to the LG Cheetahs.

In 1996, the K-League reversed its position in favor of a decentralization policy, forcing all three Seoul-based clubs out of the capital. LG Cheetahs moved to Anyang, where they won the 2000 league title as finishing as runners-up in the 2001-02 Asian Club Cup. But after the 2002 World Cup, the K-League again reversed itself, deciding that it needed a club to fill the Seoul World Cup Stadium. The Cheetahs pushed for selection, spurred by their owners, the LG Group, who saw it as an opportunity to improve their marketing presence in the city.

Local supporters were incensed by the decision, however, and formed protest groups. LG still pushed the move through, but as a conciliatory measure toward supporters in Anyang and Seoul, it change the name of the club to FC Seoul. They continue to enjoy success, winning a league and cup double in 2010.

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