Oita turns to J. League for help

OITA (Kyodo) Cash-strapped Oita Trinita will ask the J. League for financial assistance following the Kyushu club’s recent relegation to the second division, Oita said Wednesday.

Oita plans to borrow from a special J. League fund set up for clubs in financial difficulties, making it the first team from the top flight to be bailed out of trouble. Oita did not divulge the amount but it is thought to be in the region of ¥200 million.

Oita has been forced to go cap in hand to the J. League after gate receipts and sponsorship fees fell well below the club’s expectations this season.

“It has been extremely difficult to raise funds. We have been unable to obtain funds by ourselves and will really have to slim down the scale of our business operation,” said Oita club president Hiroshi Mizohata.