This is because there is currently Gimpo FC based in Gimpo City in the K League 2, the second division of professional football.
Gimpo FC is a civic team founded in 2013 and has been playing in the K League 2 since 2022 after playing in the K League 2.
Coach Ko Jeong-woon, who was loved by fans under the nickname “Red Horse” when he was active, is leading the team.
Gimpo Mayor Kim Byung-soo also serves as the chairman of Gimpo FC, a foundation that is the owner of the team.
If Gimpo City’s incorporation into Seoul, which is currently being discussed in the political community, becomes a reality, various changes could occur in Gimpo clubs.
First of all, since the Gimpo club is currently a civic club, if “Gimpo City” is incorporated into Seoul, the main body to provide financial support may virtually disappear.
It is also inevitable to change the country of origin. If it becomes the tentatively named “Gimpo-gu, Seoul”, it is not easy to continue financial support for professional soccer teams in one district in Seoul, and it is difficult to separate “Gimpo-gu” as the base for Gimpo FC.
According to the current Korea Professional Football Federation club regulations, there are no special restrictions on the hometown.
This is because Article 1 (1) of the Club Regulations states that it is the “home of a specific administrative unit,” and Article 6 also states that “the anniversary is an area designated by the club in accordance with the first application for membership in the K League and is determined with the approval of the board of directors and the general meeting.”
In addition, it is conditioned to have a stadium in accordance with Articles 2-45 of Chapter 3 of this Regulation.
Gimpo uses Gimpo Salter Football Stadium as its home stadium, which currently has 5,40 seats.
Gimpo, which ranks third in the K League 2 this season, is likely to be promoted to the K League 1 next season, and Gimpo City announced that it will expand the Salter Football Stadium to more than 10,000 seats by April 2024.
Therefore, if Gimpo is incorporated into Seoul, it is possible that Gimpo will naturally become the third Seoul club in the K League if only the financial part of the current Gimpo civic team system is resolved.
Currently, FC Seoul (K League 1) and Seoul E-Land (K League 2) are based in Seoul in the K League.
E-Land paid 500 million won in membership to the professional soccer federation when it founded the team based in Seoul in 2014, while FC Seoul paid a total of 7.5 billion won, including 5 billion won in construction contributions to the Seoul World Cup Stadium and 2.5 billion won in professional soccer development funds, in the process of changing its affiliation from Anyang to Seoul in Gyeonggi Province in 2004.
An official from the Korea Professional Football Federation said, “We are watching the situation on various possibilities caused by Gimpo’s transfer to Seoul,” adding, “The K-League regional connection system has been officially implemented since 1987, and there has been no case of the club’s connection to other administrative districts.”
The federation’s regulations regarding the change of the base say, “The change will be applied by September 30 of the previous year in the year of the change, and it will be finalized after approval by the General Assembly,” and the base cannot be changed during the season.