Ownership rule in J League

Ownership rule in J League

Ownership rule: J League blocked foreign owner in the beginning

This article explains the overview of Ownership rule in J League, and how has Ownership rule in J League changed recently.

The first purpose of J League was to reinforce Japan Men’s National Team. Japan had never participated FIFA World Cup until 1998. Now Japan is the country which won the most in Asian cup, but they did not won until 1992.

J League was established in 1993 to change that situation. All football strong countries have their own professional football league. Japan tried to catch up with them. And 1990s is just after the collapse of Bubble economy in Japan. Japanese companies still have economic power despite the start of a recession. Almost all J clubs are established by Japanese companies based on Japan Soccer League, which is amateur national football league.

J League blocked foreign owners in its regulation. As you know, Premier League started in England at the same time and they accept foreign owners and tried to expand their business in global… In the result, J League became domestic. It helped to soak football culture into Japan regional area, but on the other hand it made Japan football business growth slow compared to European big 5 leagues.

J League Changed the its stance

Currently J League amended its regulation. There is no restriction for foreign ownership. But it says that some crucial share movements must be allowed by J League.

[Crucial share movements]
– Share movement with more than 15%
– Voting rights change with more than 1 out of 3

In that meaning, J League still has the power to veto against any new owners. Japan Football business is not matured yet. They rely on their parent companies which make up for their deficits and the rate of football economic size is too low compared to whole GDP in Japan. J League is still careful to accept foreign capital into Japan Football, but the regulation itself is already relaxed. It is a big progress compared to the beginning of J League.

Ownership regulation in J League
Ownership regulation in J League

J League has not announced this information actively. So people hardly know that information not only in global but also in Japan. If someone living abroad has interest in investing into J clubs, you can anytime reach them at this moment.




Former staff in J-league club provides the real information about Japan football in English.

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