Women’s professional volleyball Heungkuk Life Insurance fell into chaos. The manager and general manager were sacked overnight for unclear reasons, and the new manager, who was trying to recruit, felt burdened and resigned from the manager position, resulting in a situation where the command tower became vacant. Here, the club’s clumsy excuse rather caused a backlash from public opinion, making the volleyball world and fans turn their backs even more.
It is an unprecedented situation that will remain a laughingstock in that all this fuss is the ‘own goal’ of the Heungkuk Life Insurance club that shook the team by itself.
It started on the 2nd when Heungkuk Life Insurance officially announced the hardship with director Kwon Soon-chan. Coach Kwon Soon-chan put Heungkuk Life Insurance, which stayed in 6th place last season, to 2nd place, and in the last game last year, he was on the rise by defeating even the’leading’ Hyundai Engineering & Construction. In addition, general manager Kim Yeo-il also resigned at the same time as director Kwon.
Heungkuk Life Insurance said that they chose to break up because coach Kwon and the club did not have the same direction they were pursuing. However, the dominant response was that many people were taken aback by Kwon’s sudden resignation. Here, coach Kwon revealed the fact that “there was an unfair intervention from the top” surrounding the management of the team after his dismissal, and the situation grew into a wave.
The team was also shocked and confused. In particular, in an interview on the 5th, Kim Yeon-kyung, a representative star of Heungkuk Life Insurance and Korean volleyball, said, “Isn’t it different from preferring a coach who listens to the company? It’s an amazing situation,” he said, directly attacking his team in an unusual way.
On the 5th, Heungkuk Life Insurance tried to rectify the atmosphere by trying to explain the recent situation through a media interview with the new head Shin Yong-jun. However, Director Shin’s contradictory explanations did not calm public opinion, but instead brought a backlash.
Director Shin defined the cause of this incident as the difference of opinion between former manager Kwon Soon-chan and former manager Kim Yeo-il, and distanced himself from the problem at the company level. In addition, Shin admitted that there were differences and conflicts between the former manager and the manager, but revealed a contradictory position, saying, “I don’t think it is an intervention in the operation of the team or an infringement on the supervisory authority.”
Director Shin emphasized smooth ‘communication’ with the new coach in the future, but left room for this situation to recur at any time, claiming that “to win the championship, such discussions can be held between the manager and the manager.”
However, contrary to Shin’s explanation, it is being revealed that coach Kwon Soon-chan’s resignation was not a conflict with general manager Kim Yeo-il, but that the parent company’s leadership sent a text message and was involved in the appointment of a specific player. Nevertheless, when director Kwon Soon-chan refused to listen, he eventually took the baton away.
In a cluttered atmosphere, Heungkuk Life Insurance announced on the 6th that it had appointed a new manager Kim Ki-joong. However, for some reason, coach Kim did not appear at the volleyball court even after the club announced the appointment of a manager. And on the 10th, another surprising news was revealed that Kim, after careful consideration, had finally expressed his intention to decline the position of director.
Director Kim Ki-joong said through the club, “The manager’s job is a difficult position even if it is trusted both inside and outside the volleyball world. The current situation that can cause various misunderstandings is a burden. Performing the manager’s job now will not help the team and volleyball officials who have worked hard. I don’t think so,” he said, explaining the reason for the death. It is interpreted that coach Kim felt burdened by the critical public opinion surrounding the unjustified manager change and the atmosphere of not receiving support from the players.
Heungkuk Life Insurance even resigned after one game, acting manager Lee Young-soo, who temporarily took over the baton after former manager Kwon Soon-chan resigned. In less than 10 days, as many as three leaders became victims at once because of Heungkuk Life Insurance’s inexperienced management of the club. Heungkuk Life Insurance’s coach Kim Dae-kyung will lead the team as acting manager in the Hyundai E&C match on the 11th.
In the end, Heungkuk Life Insurance finally lowered its head through an apology again on the 10th. Heungkuk Life Insurance said, “I apologize for causing concern to the fans. I bow my head and express my apology to the players and coaching staff who have been deeply hurt.”
“As a result of interest and affection for volleyball being expressed in the wrong direction of intervening in game management, it is clear that it can never be tolerated and should not be repeated. We will fully respect your authority.” Unlike the stance of Director Shin just 5 days ago, the most different part is that he admitted for the first time that the nature of this situation was ‘misguided intervention by the club’.
However, Heungkuk Life Insurance, whose staff has already been twisted, seems to have a long way to go to normalize the club. Heungkuk Life Insurance reluctantly apologized to players and fans, but did not mention an apology for manager Kwon Soon-chan, who could be said to be the most direct victim of this situation.
Above all, the image of Heungkuk Life Insurance as a club that does not recognize the position and expertise of the director has been embedded in the volleyball world. Heungkuk Life Insurance has a precedent of hardening the late manager Hwang Hyun-joo twice for similar reasons to the current manager Kwon Soon-chan in the past, and is notorious for having the most frequent manager changes among women’s volleyball teams and a short average tenure. While watching the recent confusion surrounding the replacement of the manager, it is uncertain whether he will be able to find a master-level person who will accept even if an offer for the directorship of Heungkuk Life Insurance comes.
In addition, attention is being paid to how this situation will affect the relationship between Kim Yeon-kyung, the club’s leading star, and Heungkuk Life Insurance. The relationship between Kim Yeon-kyung and Heungkuk Life Insurance can be summarized as ‘love-hate’. While playing in Korea, Kim Yeon-kyung was a franchise star and winning player who played only in the uniform of one team of Heungkuk Life Insurance, but when he went abroad, he even engaged in a court battle over whether to obtain FA qualification. As much as they had a difficult time due to the controversy over violence, the relationship was not as smooth as it was. 온라인바카라
Kim Yeon-kyung finally gets free agent status after this season. After returning to Korea, he was caught up in an accident for two consecutive seasons spent at Heungkuk Life Insurance, and it would be difficult for the player’s feelings to be favorable to the club, which only hindered Kim Yeon-kyung’s attempt to win the championship. Coincidentally, it is known that the reason why the club sacked manager Kwon was due to a conflict over the appointment of a promising player. As it was revealed that the club wanted a generational change and rebuilding rather than winning this year, the reason for veteran Kim Yeon-kyung to sacrifice her career and choose to stay with Heungkuk Life Insurance was reduced. Rather, there are even reactions from fans wishing for Kim Yeon-kyung’s FA transfer.
What would happen if Heungkuk Life Insurance misses this year’s championship and, to make matters worse, even Kim Yeon-kyung transfers to FA? The reason why many fans supported Heungkuk Life Insurance was more support for individual players like Kim Yeon-kyung than liking for the club. But if you can’t protect Kim Yeon-kyung, another important reason to support Heungkuk Life Insurance will disappear. For Heungkuk Life Insurance, this situation could be the butterfly effect of burning all thatched roofs while trying to catch bed bugs.
Heungkuk Life Insurance has argued that the director’s existence is easy and it is only a matter of ‘direction’. However, because of the direction the club put forward, the team was in danger of losing its current direction and drifting. Now, unless the owner directly apologizes and presents a specific blueprint to rectify this situation, it is not expected to be easy to restore the club’s damaged image.