China's Hebei FC on brink of following ex-champions Jiangsu's demise

Chinese Super League outfit Hebei FC -- previously known as Hebei China Fortune -- boasted the likes of ex-Argentina internationals Javier Mascherano and Ezequiel Lavezzi in their squad as recently as 2019. Fred Lee/Getty Images

Chinese Super League club Hebei FC are on the brink of becoming the second team from the country's top division to shut their doors this year after ceasing operations on Tuesday.

The club issued a statement saying operations would not continue until a new investor was secured.

"Considering its operation has practically stopped, the club decided that from the date of Oct. 26, 2021, to cease operation with its employees furloughed," the statement said, according to Xinhua.

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Last year's CSL champions, Jiangsu FC, went out of business in March when owners Suning said they would no longer back them.

Hebei are owned by property developers China Fortune Land Development and have previously been among the biggest spenders during the boom years of Chinese football.

Hebei lured Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Mascherano to the CSL on huge wages while former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini led the team from 2016 to 2018.

Despite their largesse Hebei had limited success, their best performance coming in 2017 when they finished fourth.

Hebei have qualified for the championship rounds of this year's CSL, which are due to be played in December. They were knocked out of the Chinese FA Cup by second division side Shaanxi Changan earlier this month.