The J. League said Tuesday it will inject funds into financially troubled former top-flight giants Tokyo Verdy and take over their operations, if the second-division club fails to improve conditions by the end of June.
It would be the first time that the J. League would be directly involved in operating a club.
In September last year, Nippon Television Network Corp. decided to transfer all of its 98.8 percent stake in the club to Tokyo Verdy Holdings.
The J. League told Tokyo Verdy’s new management that it needed to secure sponsorship revenue of at least ¥540 million, but it has failed to reach the target.
The J. League plans to provide more than ¥400 million in cash to Tokyo Verdy from a fund not allotted to support official matches and has not said whether it will fire chairman Nobuaki Sai along with the current management.
“The opinion was unanimous (at our board of directors meeting) that the main priority is that Tokyo Verdy be able to play out the remaining matches this season,” said J. League Chairman Kenji Onitake. “We felt that this was the best decision.”
Onitake said that the J. League would not be involved in operations of the club next year or later. It has also not been ruled out whether Tokyo Verdy will be forced out of the league, if the club’s financial conditions do not recover this year.
Verdy were J. League champions in 1993 and 1994, the first two seasons of the league.