After they owned the now defunct Dalian Shide (then known as Dalian Wanda) between 1994-2000, also being the Shides most prolific run to which they won 4 Jia A Leagues, now the Chinese Super League; the Wanda Group is looking to invest back into the other Dalian side now known as Dalian Yifang. The Wanda Group is bringing great excitement with that as their previous co ownership of European giants Atletico Madrid has had them looking to bring a few star names back with them from the Spanish capital. Names such as Fernando Torres and Yannick Carrasco have been talked which would certainly reaffirm the case that the Wanda Group takeover will happen imminently within the coming days.
More on the Wanda Group as a whole now, looking through what’s led them to taking over China’s next biggest team.
The Wanda Group:
The Wanda Group was established in Dalian, now based in Beijing and is a multinational conglomerate. They are the worlds biggest private property developer and owner of the World’s largest cinema chain, Wanda Cinemas.
With investments around the world, the Wanda Group has a widespread portfolio of diverse investments across different industries which include real estate, entertainment, financial services, healthcare and of course sports. With these investments the Wanda Group sees itself ranked 380th in the Fortune Global 500 list for 2017.
Now on to the football side of things.
Of course you knew from earlier on that the Wanda previously owned the defunct Dalian Shide but they have done much more for the game.
In 2011, the Wanda group became a major sponsor in the Chinese Super League and have been ever since.
In 2013, the Wanda Group funded the “China’s Future Football Stars” project with an initial investment of about £25 million, the biggest sponsorship in domestic youth sports development since 1949. The program sees that 30 young players are sent to Spain each year, on a 3 year course that will include football training, as well as education into the Spanish language and culture of the country.
On March the 18th 2016, the Wanda group signed a deal with FIFA to provide sponsorship of the next 4 world cups up until 2030 making Wanda the first Chinese first tier sponsor of FIFA.
Around that similar time, Wanda gained a 20% stake in Atletico Madrid which later on in the year was changed to 17.5%.
In doing that, Wanda started the rise of Chinese investors coming to Europe most notably the Suning Commerce Group who took over Jiangsu FC changing the name to Jiangsu Suning as well as claiming a huge stake in Inter Milan all in 2016.
Now that Wanda have sold all of their shares in Atletico they’re looking to branch back to China by taking over the already sponsored Dalian Yifang.
Wanda want to make a statement early on by signing 2 more star players adding to the already signed former West Ham defender Jose Fonte.
Will Wanda be as successful as the last time they owned a Chinese club. Only time will time.
If they are able to bring in both Fernando Torres and Yannick Carassco they’ll go a long way into pleasing the fans and at the end of the day to be successful, that’s just what they need.
Catch Dalian Yifang open their CSL season away to last years runners up Shanghai SIPG on Sunday.