It’s always been about being the best in the country and the best in the world. But in baseball and soccer, is Samsung still the best? History of humiliation is repeating itself.
On the past two days, an event occurred in the history of the K League. On the 2nd, Suwon Samsung drew 0-0 with Gangwon FC in the Final B match of the 38th round of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 1 2023’ at Suwon World Cup Stadium. Suwon FC and Jeju United, who were in a relegation battle with Suwon Samsung, drew 1-1. In the end, Jeju United tied Suwon FC on points with 33 points from eight wins, nine draws and 21 losses, but were unable to climb out of the bottom 12 due to their goal difference. Despite hoping to make a leap into the promotion playoffs, Suwon Samsung were unable to avoid direct relegation.
The club joined the K League as a late bloomer when it was founded in 1995, but its aggressive investments have attracted superstars and earned it the nickname “Real Suwon. The group’s commitment to excellence continued in soccer, and despite being a late starter, the team achieved great achievements such as winning four K League titles and five FA Cups.
However, these prestigious clubs gradually began to decline.
In fact, this is a common phenomenon among professional sports organizations that bear the Samsung name. In 2014, the management of the Samsung Sports Organization was transferred from the group to Cheil Worldwide, which emphasized ‘cost-effectiveness’ while reducing investment. Clubs that had been aiming for ‘the best’ are now finding it difficult to receive investment.
The Samsung Lions baseball team, once known as “Donseong,” has also seen its former glory as the “Real Suwon” fade away, and the days of signing the best players for huge sums of money are long gone. Samsung was once the strongest team in the KBO and a dynasty in the late 2000s and early 2010s, 카지노사이트킴 winning four consecutive championships from 2011 to 2014, but the team went downhill after Cheil Industries took control in 2014.
They won the regular season title in 2015, completing the feat of winning five consecutive regular season titles. Although they failed to win the overall title, no one could have predicted the fall of Samsung would be so drastic. From 2016 to this year, the team failed to make the postseason in seven of the eight seasons. In 2021, they were in contention for the top spot in the regular season until the very end, but finished second in the regular season and were swept in the postseason by Doosan, who were on their way to a dynasty at the time.
Once again this season,
Samsung finished in eighth place with a record of 61 wins, 82 losses, 1 tie, and a .427 winning percentage. As the Suwon Samsungs languished in the relegation zone, the Samsung Lions baseball team also faced the prospect of finishing last in its first regular season. From June 22 to August 9, the team spent 49 days in 10th place, the lowest position in the league.
However, their humiliation is far from over, and there are still question marks hanging over them. For now, Suwon Samsung has a tough season ahead of them as they try to climb back up from the second division. Investment has been non-existent and support has been poor. The direction and consistency of the club’s management is also poor. This season, they started with Lee Byung-geun, fired him, then brought in Kim Byung-soo, fired him, and fired him again. In the end, it was Yeom Ki-hoon, the playing coach, who stepped in to save the club from relegation. Still a player, Yeom Ki-hoon took over as acting head coach, but he was unable to prevent relegation.
Corporate clubs don’t always get promoted right away. Busan I-Park became the first corporate club to be relegated to the second division in 2015 and hasn’t been back to the first division in eight years. There’s no guarantee that Suwon Samsung won’t go through the same thing.
The same goes for the Samsung Lions.
They’ve been making free agent investments here and there, but it hasn’t been a lasting solution. Moreover, the lack of systematic development of prospects has not broken the vicious cycle. The direction of the rookie draft has always been questionable, and the players selected have been poorly developed.
Gyeongsan Ballpark, once a state-of-the-art secondary facility, is now a dilapidated facility. The team hasn’t invested enough in development. However, the team has recently seen promising players such as Won Tae-in, Lee Jae-hyun, Kim Hyun-joon, Kim Sung-yoon, and Kim Ji-chan emerge and establish themselves as the future. The new head coach, Lee Jong-yeol, is trying to revamp the organization, but it will take time.
Samsung’s history of failure and frustration is repeating itself. If the vicious cycle continues, you become immune to failure and ridicule. You take it for granted and become compliant. That’s why there are concerns that the current fall may not be the end.