Chinese Super League-winning coach Lee Jang-soo said he was distressed to see his former side Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic forced to disband because of rising debts and has criticised the lack of “care and support” shown to the club. Chongqing owners the Dangdai Group announced the club would cease operations as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the debt-addled outfit. The announcement came 10 days before the new CSL season was expected to start, with teams set to play in bio-secure hubs in Dalian, Haikou and Meizhou as the country continues to deal with the pandemic. “It is distressing for me that this team, which was the first Chinese side I coached, was dissolved,” Xinhua quoted Lee as saying. “I have a deep attachment to the city of Chongqing. Chongqing is a big city with a lot of fans. If more care and support had been given to the Chongqing club, it would not have ended up like this.” Lee led Guangzhou Evergrande to the first of their eight CSL titles in 2011 before being replaced as head coach by Marcello Lippi in May 2012. But the South Korean had made his name in Chinese football with Chongqing, where he won the Chinese FA Cup in 2000 having joined the club from former Asian champions Ilhwa Chunma two years earlier. CSL: Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic fans mourn club’s demise days before season Chongqing’s closure comes a year after Jiangsu FC, then the reigning Chinese Super League champions, were forced to shut. Lee, who will lead Shenzhen FC during this year’s campaign, said the issues that forced Chongqing to disband extend throughout the sport in China. “The Chongqing club’s problems are not unique to itself, they are problems Chinese football is facing in general,” he said.