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K LEAGUE (Korea Professional Football League) is South Korea 's professional association football league including first division K League Classic and second division K League Challenge . The fact that both the first and second divisions have very similar names has caused some degree of confusion and controversy.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Structure

* 3 Clubs

* 3.1 Current K League Clubs * 3.2 All-time K League Clubs

* 4 Champions

* 4.1 Titles by season

* 4.1.1 K League Classic (1983–present) * 4.1.2 K League Challenge (2013–present)

* 4.2 Titles by club

* 4.2.1 Top Division * 4.2.2 Second Division

* 5 Records and statistics

* 5.1 Appearances * 5.2 Clean sheets * 5.3 Goals * 5.4 Assists

* 6 Foreign players

* 7 Franchise pystem

* 7.1 Franchise relocations

* 8 K League Awards * 9 Sponsorship * 10 References * 11 External links

HISTORY

The K League Classic was founded in 1983 as the KOREAN SUPER LEAGUE, with five member clubs. The initial five clubs were Hallelujah FC , Yukong Elephants , POSCO Dolphins , Daewoo Royals , Kookmin Bank FC . Hallelujah FC won the inaugural title, finishing one point ahead of Daewoo Royals to lift the crown.

In 1998, Korea's football league was reformed and renamed the K LEAGUE ( K League was official orthography by 2012). Since its creation, the league has expanded from an initial 5 to 16 clubs. Of the five inaugural clubs, only Yukong Elephants , POSCO Dolphins , and Daewoo Royals remains in the K League; Kookmin Bank FC dropped out of the league at the end of 1984, and Hallelujah FC followed the season after.

In 2013, K League introduced the division system. The first division's name is K League Classic , the second division's name is K League Challenge and the comprehensive brand name is K League.

STRUCTURE

Below the K League Classic, there is the K League Challenge , and below the K League Challenge, there is the National League , a closed semi-professional league with ten clubs, established in 2003. The fourth level of football in Korea is the K3 League .

There was no official system of promotion and relegation. However, beginning in 2013, the champions of K League Challenge is eligible for promotion to the K League Classic, provided they had met certain criteria. In 2012 season, two teams from K League Classic was relegated to K League Challenge, and in 2013, two teams will be relegated to K League Challenge, and 11th placed team from K League Classic and the first placed team from K League Challenge will have a relegation play-off.

* First Division – K League Classic * Second Division – K League Challenge

CLUBS

CURRENT K LEAGUE CLUBS

* First Division – K League Classic – 12 clubs * Second Division – K League Challenge – 10 clubs

ALL-TIME K LEAGUE CLUBS

As of 2017, There have been a total of 31 member clubs in the history of the K League – those clubs are listed below with their current names (where applicable):

* K League's principle of official statistics is that final club succeeds to predecessor club's history color:transparent;">0 0 Inauguration date – 22 December 1983 0 0 0

_ Hanil Bank FC _ (1984–1986) Hanil Bank

Played as a Semi-Professional FC

Ilhwa Chunma (1989–1995) Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma (1996–1999) Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (2000–2013) SEONGNAM FC (2014–present) Ilhwa in Tongil Group (1989–2013) Government of Seongnam and Citizen Stockholder (2014–present) Inauguration date – 18 March 1989

_ Chonbuk Buffalo _ (1994)

Bobae Soju (1994) Inauguration date – 1993 Dissolution date – 1994

Chonbuk Dinos (1995–1996) Chonbuk Hyundai
Hyundai
Dinos (1997–1999) Chonbuk Hyundai Motors (2000–2005) JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS (2006–present) Consortium of Hyunyang and Hyundai Motor Company in Hyundai Group (1995–1999.05) Hyundai Motor Company in Hyundai Motor Group (1999.05–present) Inauguration date – 12 December 1994

Chunnam Dragons (1995–2013) JEONNAM DRAGONS (2014–present) POSCO

Inauguration date – 16 December 1994

SUWON SAMSUNG BLUEWINGS (1996–present) Samsung Electronics in Samsung Group (1996–2014.03) Cheil Worldwide in Samsung Group (2014.04-present) Samsung Electronics Inauguration date – 15 December 1995

Taejon Citizen (1997–2002) DAEJEON CITIZEN (2003–present) Consortium of defunct Dong Ah Group , Kyeryong Construction Company, Dongyang Department Store, Chungchong Bank (1997–2005) Government of Daejeon and Citizen Stockholder (2006–present) Hana Bank Inauguration date – 12 March 1997

DAEGU FC (2003–present) Government of Daegu and Citizen Stockholder Daegu Bank Inauguration date – 19 March 2003

INCHEON UNITED (2004–present) Government of Incheon and Citizen Stockholder Shinhan Bank Incheon International Airport Inauguration date – 1 March 2004

GYEONGNAM FC (2006–present) Government of Gyeongsangnam-do and Citizen Stockholder DSME Gyeongnam Bank Inauguration date – 17 January 2006

GANGWON FC (2009–present) Government of Gangwon-do and Citizen Stockholder High1 Resort Inauguration date – 18 December 2008

GWANGJU FC (2011–present) Government of Gwangju and Citizen Stockholder Gwangju Bank Inauguration date – 16 December 2010

_Sangmu FC _ (1985) _ Gwangju Sangmu _ (2003–2010) Sangju Sangmu Phoenix (2011–2012) SANGJU SANGMU (2013–present) 0 0 0 Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps (1985) Government of Gwangju and Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps (2003–2010) Government of Sangju and Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps (2011–present) 0 0 0 0 Founded as a Military FC (Semi-Professional) on 11 January 1984 Joined K League in 1985 Inauguration date – 4 January 2013 ( Gwangju Sangmu) Inauguration date – 26 February 2011 ( Sangju Sangmu) ※ Sangmu, Gwangju Sangmu and Sangju Sangmu, these clubs are separate legal entities by K League, not succeed the history and records

_Police FC _ (2013) _ Ansan Police FC _ (2014–2015) _ Ansan Mugunghwa _ (2016) ASAN MUGUNGHWA (2017–present) 0 0 Mugunghwa Athletic Club in Korean National Police University (2013) Government of Ansan and Mugunghwa Athletic Club in Korean National Police University (2014–2016) Government of Asan and Mugunghwa Athletic Club in Korean National Police University (2017–present) 0 Founded as a Police FC (Semi-Professional) on 29 March 1996 Transferred into a Professional FC and joined K League Challenge in 2013 Inauguration date – 16 March 2014 ( Ansan Mugunghwa) Inauguration date – 16 January 2017 ( Asan Mugunghwa) 0※ Ansan Police and Asan Police, these clubs are separate legal entities by K League, not succeed the history and records

_ Goyang Hi FC _ (2013–2016)

Founded as a Semi-Professional FC in 1999 Transferred into a Professional FC and joined K League Challenge in 2013 Transferred into an Amateur FC and left K League Challenge in the end of 2016

_Chungju Hummel _ (2013–2016) Hummel Korea

Founded as a Semi-Professional FC 9 December 1999 Transferred into a Professional FC and joined K League Challenge in 2013

SUWON FC (2013–present) Government of Suwon and Citizen Stockholder

Founded as a Semi-Professional FC 15 March 2003 Transferred into a Professional FC in 2013 Joined K League Challenge

BUCHEON FC 1995 (2013–present) Government of Bucheon and Citizen Stockholder

Founded as Amateur FC on 1 December 2007 Transferred into a Professional FC and joined K League Challenge in 2013

FC ANYANG (2013–present) Government of Anyang and Citizen Stockholder

Inauguration date – 2 February 2013 Joined K League Challenge in 2013

SEOUL E-LAND (2015–present) E-Land Group

Inauguration date – 22 August 2014 Joined K League Challenge in 2015

ANSAN GREENERS (2017–present) Government of Ansan and Citizen Stockholder

Inauguration date – 21 February 2017 Joined K League Challenge in 2017

Yukong renamed to SK Energy GS Group is separated from LG Group Hanil Bank is merged by Woori Bank

CHAMPIONS

* _For details on K League Champions, see List of K League champions ._

* _ Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma_ are the most successful club in terms of championship victories, having lifted the title on no less than seven occasions. The roll-call of champions is as follows (present-date names included where teams have changed names previously): * K League's principle of official statistics is that final club succeeds to predecessor club's history text-align:left; vertical-align:top;">

Second Division

CLUB CHAMPIONS RUNNERS-UP WINNING SEASONS RUNNERS-UP SEASONS

Sangju Sangmu 2 0 2013 , 2015

Ansan Mugunghwa FC 1 2 2016 2013 , 2014

Daejeon Citizen 1 0 2014

Daegu FC 0 2

2015 , 2016

RECORDS AND STATISTICS

For details, see K League records and statistics .

* Records include K League Classic (top division), K League Challenge (second division), and League Cup . * All statistics are correct as of end of the 2016 season. * BOLD denotes players still playing in the K League.

APPEARANCES

RANK PLAYER APPEARANCES NOTES

1 Kim Byung-ji 706

2 Choi Eun-sung 532

3 Kim Gi-dong 501

4 Kim Sang-sik 458

5 Kim Eun-jung 444

6 Woo Sung-yong 439

LEE DONG-GOOK

8 Kim Han-yoon 430

9 OH SEUNG-BUM 422

10 KIM YONG-DAE 418

CLEAN SHEETS

RANK PLAYER CLEAN SHEETS MATCHES Clean sheets per match NOTES

1 Kim Byung-ji 229 706 0.32

2 Choi Eun-sung 152 532 0.29

3 Lee Woon-jae 140 410 0.34

4 KIM YONG-DAE 125 418 0.30

5 KIM YOUNG-KWANG 124 389 0.32

6 Valeri Sarychev 114 320 0.36

7 Jung Sung-ryong 108 296 0.36

8 SHIN HWA-YONG 94 287 0.33

9 Kwoun Sun-tae 90 301 0.30

10 Kim Poong-joo 80 181 0.44

GOALS

RANK PLAYER GOALS MATCHES Goals per match NOTES

1 LEE DONG-GOOK 192 439 0.43

2 DEJAN DAMJANOVIć 154 266 0.58

3 Kim Eun-jung 123 444 0.28

4 Woo Sung-yong 116 439 0.26

5 Kim Do-hoon 114 257 0.44

6 Kim Hyun-seok 110 371 0.30

7 Saša Drakulić 104 271 0.38

8 JUNG JO-GOOK 104 306 0.34

9 KIM SHIN-WOOK 102 265 0.38

10 Yoon Sang-chul 101 300 0.34

ASSISTS

RANK PLAYER ASSISTS MATCHES Assists per Match NOTES

1 _ YEOM KI-HUN 88 273 0.32

2 Mauricio Molina 69 209 0.33

3 Shin Tae-yong 68 401 0.17

4 Eninho 66 231 0.29

5 LEE DONG-GOOK 66 439 0.15

6 HWANG JIN-SUNG 60 289 0.21

7 Denis Laktionov 59 272 0.22

8 Kim Eun-jung 56 444 0.13

9 Kim Hyun-seok 54 371 0.15

10 HYUN YOUNG-MIN 54 406 0.13

* ^ A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ Including K League Challenge appearances (second division)

FOREIGN PLAYERS

See also: List of foreign K League players

SEASON SQUAD PLAY IN MATCH NOTES

1983–1993 2 2

1994 3 2 If three players chosen to South Korea in one club, three foreign players can play.

1995 3 3

1996–2000 5 3 From 1997 season, foreign goalkeepers were restricted in play the match. * 1997 season : Two-third of all matches * 1998 season : one-third of all matches * From 1999 season : foreign goalkeepers were restricted in K League

2001–2002 7 3 Temporary operation due to support the World Cup .

2003–2004 5 3

2005 4 3

2006–2008 3 3

2009– 3+1 3+1 '+1' is Asian quota.

At the inception of the K League in 1983 , only two Brazilian players made rosters. At the time, rules allowed each club to have three foreign players and that the three could also play simultaneously in a game. From the 1996 season , each team had five foreign players among whom three could play in a game at the same time. Moreover, from the 2000 season to the 2002 season , the limit on foreign players was expanded seven but only three could play in a game at the same time. The limit was lower to five in 2003, four in 2005, and three in 2007. From the 2009 season, the number of foreign players went back up to four per team, including a slot for a player from AFC countries.

In the 1985 season, Piyapong Pue-on of Thailand led foreign players in the league in scoring and assists. Other leading players were Rade Bogdanović , who had 10 goals and 10 assists in the 1996 season. Valeri Sarychev , the K League's most famous foreign goalkeeper, played in 320 league games from 1992 to 2004. He was eventually naturalized as a Korean citizen and given the Korean name _Shin Eui-Son_ which means _God's hand_ because of his stellar play.

In the 1990s, the trend was for the K League to get foreign players from Eastern Europe like Rade Bogdanović , Radivoje Manic , Saša Drakulić and Denis Laktionov . From 2000, Brazilians became the K League's priority such as Tavares , Mota , Nádson , Adilson and Edu . Since 2009, players from AFC have been fairly popular especially those from Australia
Australia
, China PR , Japan
Japan
and Uzbekistan .

FRANCHISE PYSTEM

See also: Decentralization policy in K League

* Non-franchised Period (1983–1986): K League Clubs had franchise but clubs played the all game of round at one stadium. * Franchised period (1987–present): K League introduced home and away matches system in 1987. * Clubs which are not listed in the table don't have franchise relocations.

FRANCHISE RELOCATIONS

CLUB Original City / area (joined year) Non-franchised period 1983–1986 Franchised period 1987–present

Pohang Steelers Daegu + Gyeongbuk (1983) N/A Pohang (1990 / 1988-present)

Jeju United Seoul + Incheon + Gyeonggi (1983) Seoul (1984) Incheon + Gyeonggi (1987) ▶ Seoul (1991) ▶ Bucheon / Mok-dong , Seoul (1996) ▶ Bucheon (2001) ▶ Jeju (2006–present)

Busan IPark Busan + Gyeongnam (1983) N/A Busan (1990 / 1989-present)

Ulsan Hyundai
Hyundai
Incheon + Gyeonggi (1984) Incheon + Gyeonggi +Gangwon (1986) Gangwon (1987) ▶ Ulsan (1990–present)

FC Seoul Chungcheong (1984) N/A Chungcheong (1987) ▶ Seoul (1990) ▶ Anyang (1996) ▶ Seoul (2004–present)

Seongnam FC Seoul (1989) N/A Cheonan (1996) ▶ Seongnam (2000–present)

Sangju Sangmu Gwangju (2003) N/A Gwangju (2003) ▶ Sangju (2011–present)

Asan Mugunghwa N/A(All matches were away matches) (2013) N/A Ansan (2014) ▶ Asan (2017–present)

K League officially began city franchise policy in 1990, But Pohang Steelers began in 1988 and Busan IPark began in 1989. Actually Bucheon SK held all home matches at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul until 2000. Because Bucheon Stadium was under construction. Gwangju Sangmu and Sangju Sangmu are sepate leagal entities by K League. Officially, not relocated and founded as a new club. Ansan Police and Asan Police are sepate leagal entities by K League. Officially, not relocated and founded as a new club.

K LEAGUE AWARDS

* K League MVP Award * K League Top Scorer Award * K League Top Assistor Award * K League Rookie of the Year Award * K League Manager of the Year Award * K League Best XI * K League FANtastic Player

SPONSORSHIP

START END NAME

1983 1993 _None_

1994 1995 _ Hite

1996 1997 Rapido

1998 – Hyundai
Hyundai

1999 – Buy Korea

2000 – Samsung DigiTall

2001 – POSCO

2002 2008 Samsung Hauzen

2009 – None_

2010 – Hyundai Motor Company Sonata

2011 2014 Hyundai
Hyundai
Oilbank

REFERENCES

* ^ "In search of Korea’s disappearing Red Devils-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily". Koreajoongangdaily.joins.com. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2014-02-01. * ^ "South Korean Teams Fight for Attention at Home". The New York Times . Retrieved 2014-02-02. * ^ "위원석의 하프타임 \'K리그\'에 새로운 이름을 붙여주자" (in Korean). The Daily Sports Seoul. February 19, 2013.

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to K LEAGUE _.

* Official K League website (in English) * Official K League website (in Korean)

* v * t * e

K League

K LEAGUE CLASSIC (2017 )

* Daegu FC * Gangwon FC
Gangwon FC
*