Chongqing, where Jordi Cruyff was in charge in 2018-2019, went under barely 10 days before the season starts, dealing another blow to the fast-fading ambitions of China's football-fan president Xi Jinping. A succession of Chinese clubs, who were once synonymous with lavish spending, have collapsed in recent years including 2020 CSL champions Jiangsu Suning.
The impact of the Covid pandemic and the football industry's development model had left it with unpayable debts, Chongqing said in a statement. "It is with extreme regret that we have decided to withdraw from China's professional football league and subsequently disband the team," the statement said.
Attempts to reform the club's shareholding structure had failed, leading to its accounts being frozen and staff experiencing "extreme difficulties", the club said. Over the last six years owners have poured nearly $500 million into the club in China's southwest, state media reported.