J League: Is Sanfrecce Hiroshima weak? J2 relegation experience

J League

Sanfrecce Hiroshima is known as a modest club, but they are by no means weak as they have won the J1 championship. However, on the other hand, they have also experienced relegation to J2. For this reason, there are many people who think that other supporters don’t really know whether they are strong or weak. Let’s talk about the history of Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s relegation.


Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Sanfrecce Hiroshima is a professional soccer club based in Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Sanfrecce Hiroshima is one of the Original 10 and has been a team since the J.League was founded. While they have won the J1 championship, they have also been relegated to J2, so it can be said that they have a wealth of experience as a club in many ways. The club’s name, Sanfrecce, means three arrows. They are a modest team that often ranks at the bottom of popularity rankings.

medium club

Sanfrecce Hiroshima is a club that has won the J1 championship but has also been relegated to J2. However, for most seasons, their results have been very stable, and they are a team that is firmly established in the middle of J1. Therefore, we are not originally a team that would fall to J2. However, we have produced many players to play on the Japanese national team. When the national team members were announced, there were surprisingly many players from Hiroshima.


The predecessor of Sanfrecce Hiroshima was Mazda Soccer Club, founded in 1938. The current operating company, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, was established in 1992, and Mazda has had a very strong influence on it.

home stadium

The home stadium is Edion Stadium Hiroshima, which has a capacity of 35,000 people. However, this stadium is very unpopular because the seats are far from the pitch. The main stand has a large arched roof, which is the origin of the stadium’s nickname, “Big Arch.”

Is Sanfrecce Hiroshima not popular?

Sanfrecce Hiroshima is a club that has been playing in J1 for a long time, but I can’t get over the impression that they don’t have enough spectators. Why is Hiroshima unpopular despite being a winning team? Even if you score a goal, you won’t get excited. I would like to see a feature on players who are growing in the news, etc. .

Soccer is not popular

Baseball is more popular than soccer in Hiroshima. There is a baseball team called Hiroshima Carp, so soccer is unpopular. The Hiroshima Carp has a history spanning several decades, but Sanfrecce Hiroshima has only been in the professional soccer league for about 30 years. The local people of Hiroshima also tend to watch baseball more than soccer, which has no presence. Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s victory did not cause much excitement in the city.

There are few spectators

Unfortunately, at Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s home games, there are always empty seats in the stands. There aren’t that many supporters, so there are clearly more empty seats than at a Hiroshima Carp home game. The total number of Sanfrecce Hiroshima supporters is small to begin with. Hiroshima is known as the Original 10, but there is no doubt that they have had a modest presence since the J.League’s inception.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s relegation experience

Sanfrecce Hiroshima has actually been relegated. However, there was a certain background to this.


In the 2002 season, tactics were not determined and the team remained disjointed as time passed. Coach Gadzhiev was fired, and the team was in a state of disintegration. In the final stages, they started to take shape as a team, but it was too late and they fell to J2. In 2003, they continued to win the first 11 games at a high pace, going undefeated, and with overwhelming strength decided to return to J1.


The 2007 season was also a very difficult season. The season started this year without proper reinforcements due to pressure on the club’s finances. Due to this, the team was unable to win due to lack of strength and fell to the bottom of the table. They finished in 16th place with 71 goals conceded, the worst in J1 this season, and were demoted after losing in the replacement match. However, the club highly evaluated Petrovic’s tactics and ability to control players, and decided to retain him as manager, which is unusual for a team that has been relegated to J2. This was a success, and the following year, in 2008, they became the first team in J2 history to lead all the games, and were quickly able to return to J1.

Is Sanfrecce Hiroshima weak?

Is Sanfrecce Hiroshima actually weak? Actually, it’s not weak. Although they have been relegated to J2, they have also won multiple J1 championships, so they are a very strong club. Sanfrecce Hiroshima has a lot of experience competing in the ACL, and has competed in the ACL many times.

management reform

In 2012, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the professional club, but the club was in a state of disarray as it had accumulated a deficit of over 2 billion yen over the past 19 years. Meanwhile, Sanfrecce Hiroshima succeeded in financial reform. They succeeded in implementing sound management, fired Manager Petrovich, who was earning a high salary at the time, and succeeded in cutting costs. Around this time, the team began to switch to a policy of promoting players from the youth ranks and hiring players who graduated from high school, rather than reinforcing big-name players.

Sanfrecce Youth

One of the reasons why Sanfrecce Hiroshima is a team that can win despite being slimmed down is the presence of a youth team. As top-level students from the Chugoku region, centered on Hiroshima, come to Hiroshima, Hiroshima Youth will inevitably become very strong. We continue to have great players making their first-team debuts, which is a huge strength for this team.

do not provide positive reinforcement

Sanfrecce Hiroshima does not aggressively recruit large numbers of players, although some of the team’s main players may be taken over by European or other rival clubs. Why is it still strong? As mentioned above, our policy is to promote current youth players as high school J-League players. Sanfrecce Hiroshima has a strong youth team, which makes it very easy to maintain a stable force.

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The J League has many thrilling matches, so it is a league that we recommend watching. As mentioned in the article below, you can watch the game on a video streaming service. If you are interested, please register.

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