Verdy gets J. League’s OK to continue operations

Kyodo News

Tokyo Verdy on Friday received formal approval from the J. League to continue their business operations and will be promoted from the second division should they finish inside the top three this season.

Cash-strapped Verdy, currently fifth in the table and just six points off an automatic promotion spot, had their operation taken over by the J. League in late June but have been thrown a lifeline after securing new investors.

Last year, Nippon Television Network Corp., which had a 98.8 percent stake in Verdy, withdrew their backing and Verdy Holdings took over.

However, the J. League in June had to step in after Verdy failed to secure annual sponsorship revenue of at least ¥540 million, one of the requirements for a team to stay in the league.

Led by star players such as Kazuyoshi Miura, Verdy won the J. League championship in 1993 and 1994, the league’s inaugural and second seasons.

Kimura stays put

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Kazushi Kimura has signed a new contract and will remain in charge of Yokohama F. Marinos next season, the J. League first-division club said Friday.

A fan favorite during his playing days with Yokohama, former Japan international Kimura is in his first season at the helm, having taken over from Kokichi Kimura, who was released at the end of last season.

Yokohama was in eighth place in the table on 42 points ahead of this weekend’s 28th round of matches. Kimura’s men welcome the visit of Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Sunday.