The newest entrant to the Hong Kong premier league, Lee Man Football Club, is training at Tang Shiu Kin stadium and aiming to become a major part of the Sai Kung sports scene, its chairman told a press conference. Norman Lee Man-yan said they also planned to start a Sai Kung Football Club.
(BUZZ is indebted to football website Offside.HK for its coverage and translation of the press conference.)
Lee Man’s players are practicising their skills at the local stadium four times a day. Norman Lee said they would speak to the local authorities about furthering their connection with Sai Kung district and the University of Science and Technology. This would include sponsoring a local football club, perhaps to be called Sai Kung FC.
Lee Man is funded by the $1.81 billion-a-year chemicals company that has factories at Jiangsu and Jiangxi. Previously it was sponsoring Rangers, one of Hong Kong’s oldest clubs. Lee Man got more ambitious and paid a fee of $1 million so it could start in the premier league this season. Hence the press conference at Kwun Tong on the weekend announcing their plans. Lee Man plays in yellow and black — “busy as bees” — and will be based at Tseung Kwan O sports ground.
Norman Lee told the reporters Lee Man would not be a “boss football” club. Manager Fung Ka-ki (formerly Birmingham FC) and coaches Lam Hing-lun and Fung Hoi-man will take charge of team management. A core of young players from Rangers have been joined by foreign hires, Ze Victor, Stefano Pereira, Denis Lima, Jordi Tarres, Luciano Silva and Son Min-choi. Norman said the club has a budget for this season of $10 million.
On Wednesday the team travels to Bangkok for three friendly games with Thai premier league clubs. On August 25 they will play their first match in the premier league against Rangers at Shamshuipo sportsground.