Suwon Samsung Bluewings supporters were left speechless by their relegation.
Suwon Samseong drew 0-0 with Gangwon FC in the 38th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 Final B (Lower Split) at Suwon World Cup Stadium at 2 p.m. on April 2. Suwon finished 12th in the final standings and were directly relegated to the second division.
Suwon suffered an extremely poor start to the season. While they were unable to completely turn things around, they have been able to rack up points under former head coach Kim Byung-soo and new head coach Yeom Ki-hoon, keeping them in the race for promotion until the final round. With their final game at home, they could have avoided direct relegation on their own and headed to the relegation playoffs.
However, it didn’t go their way. Suwon Samseong tried to turn the relegation train around in the final minutes, but to no avail. They were held to a 0-0 draw, while rivals Suwon FC drew 1-1 with Jeju United to seal their relegation from last place.레모나토토
Suwon Samsung supporters have one of the largest fan bases in the K League and are known for their passionate support. It was on display in the final, but not before the final whistle blew.
When the referee blew the final whistle, the Suwon Samsung supporters in the stadium were left speechless. The harsh reality of the club’s first relegation hit them hard.
The players were equally bewildered. As the final whistle blew, some players hesitated on the field, while others showed tears in their eyes. After what seemed like an eternity, the Suwon Samsung Bluewings players took the microphone.
“I’m sorry,” said acting coach Yi Ki-hoon, who had been trying to stay up until the end. Afterward, head coach Oh Dong-seok and captain Kim Bo-kyung took the microphone one after another.
After the game, the opposing team’s head coach Chung Kyung-ho said, “Actually, I never thought about Suwon Samseong’s relegation. We survived last year and learned from it, and I thought Suwon would go further and establish itself as a leading club. It’s unfortunate that Suwon has fallen in terms of box office. As one of the members of the K League, it’s unfortunate that the atmosphere should continue to be like today. When all the fans were silent after the end and the Suwon players hesitated, it made me feel the current state of Suwon.”
On the same day, acting head coach Yeom Ki-hoon said, “I want to say I’m very sorry to the fans. I tried my best, but the result was not what I wanted. I’m so sorry that I can’t hold my head up to the fans. I’m also sorry to the players.” He apologized again.
Even in the mixed zone, the walkway to the team bus, the players bowed their heads. You could hear it in their steps, the second leg had been decided.
Suwon Samsung players boarding the team bus with their heads bowed. Photo by Lee Hyung-joo (Suwon)
As the Suwon Samsung team bus pulled out of the parking lot, it was confronted by angry fans. Angered by the relegation of their beloved team, the fans demanded that the front desk, including team manager Oh Dong-seok, be replaced and apologize. After a scuffle involving the police, the team bus left.
In the early 2000s, Suwon had the support of its parent company, Samsung, and some of its best players. However, as support dwindled, the team began to struggle. Add to that the fact that they were less efficient than other teams that spent the same amount of money, and they fell to the bottom of the table. Having avoided relegation the previous season, they should have been able to use that as a springboard, but the failures continued. The result was the first relegation in the club’s history.