Chonburi Football Club
Chonburi Football Club (Thai: สโมสรฟุตบอลชลบุรี) is a Thai professional football club based in the city of Chonburi, Chonburi Province and currently playing in the top division in Thai football, the Thai Leagues 1. The team lifted the league title in 2007 which became the most successful season in their history.
Chonburi were founded in 1997 and their rivalries are Pattaya United and Sriracha which also based in Chonburi Province.
The team is widely known by their nickname The Sharks which can be seen in the club logo.
In 2005 they won the Provincial League title by beating Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda FC at the Central stadium, Nakhon Ratchasima, and moved to Thai Leagues 1 in the 2006 season with the Provincial League runners up, Suphanburi FC. The shark finished 8th place in the Thai Leagues 2006 season.
In 2006 they were invited to play in the Singapore Cup and reached the final, defeating local sides Home United, Albirex Niigata Singapore and Balestier Khalsa along the way. In the final they lost to Tampines Rovers 2–3 in the extra time after leading 2–0.
In 2007 they were again invited to participate in the Singapore Cup, but were defeated in the first round against Balestier Khalsa, in a replay of the previous season’s semi-finals. Chonburi lost 3–2 in normal play. They have formed links with Manchester City.
In July 2008 they made another important big step into the future. In addition, the previous sponsor, Hemaraj Land and Development PLC signed a major sponsorship deal which comes into force from 2009. The contract will run for three years and will amount to the sum of 18 million baht (about 350,000 Euros). This may indeed be the largest completed sponsorship of a Thai football club which was ever completed.
At the end of the 2008 season, there was only enough for runner-up. The main reason for this was certainly the profligacy. With two games left in the season you still on the first place in the table, but a 0–0 draw against Samut Songkhram made to naught in the penultimate round of the dream title defense. Jadet Meelarp was dismissed. His successor is officially announced in mid-December 2008. Kiatisuk Senamuang, known as Zico, was appointed coach of Chonburi.
Chonburi FC 2016
As runner-up champion they qualified for the 2009 AFC Cup and was drawn in a group with Hanoi ACB (Vietnam), Eastern AA (Hong Kong) and Kedah FA (Malaysia). They survived the group stage with only one defeat in six games. In the second round Chonburi PSMS Medan in Indonesia defeated 4–1 before retired in the quarter-finals against the Vietnam representative Bình Dương 2–4. The game against Medan was also the last game of Surat Sukha, who moved to Melbourne Victory.
In 2008, in the first AFC Champions League, Chonburi played against the Japanese champions Gamba Osaka. On 20 March 2008 the club achieved its first victory in the AFC Champions League against Melbourne Victory. The game was clouded by controversy when Melbourne Victory scored their only goal whilst a Chonburi FC player was down injured and his teammates were calling for the ball to be played off the park. It mattered little when Cameroonian striker Baga scored a goal from 35 yards out and then followed it up with a second goal in extra time to condemn the Melbourne Victory to their first loss in the competition 3–1.
All home matches of Chonburi FC are played at the Chonburi Stadium which can hold up to 8,600 spectators.