Rafa Benitez leaves Chinese Super League club Dalian Pro, citing coronavirus pandemic and its effects as reason for departure.
Dalian Professional F.C.
Chinese association football club
Dalian Professional Football Club is a professional Chinese football club based in Dalian, Liaoning, that participates in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team is owned by Dalian Wanda Group headquartered in Beijing and their home stadium is Dalian Sports Center Stadium with a capacity of 61,000. The club was refounded on September 20, 2009, by Dalian Aerbin Group Company, Ltd., and started from the third tier of the Chinese football pyramid, the China League Two. Winning two consecutive league titles in the second and third tier professional football leagues, they were promoted to the top tier in 2012 Chinese Super League season where they experienced their highest ever placing of fifth in the same season. In 2014, they were relegated from the Chinese Super League. In December 2015, they were renamed Dalian Yifang Football Club. In October 2017, they won the Chinese League One championship and successfully upgraded. On May 25, 2019, Dalian Yifang Football Club was renamed Dalian Professional Football Club, with new logo unveiled on January 21, 2020. Rafa Benitez left his position as manager on Saturday 23/1/2021 with strong rumours he is returning to St James park, Newcastle.