Guangzhou_EvergrandeThe chairman and two other top executives of China’s most successful football club, Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, have resigned, the club said.

Chairman Ke Peng, deputy general manager Mai Jianle and board member Zhang Hongping all stepped down for “personal reasons”, club statements said.

Evergrande, managed on the pitch by former Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, won their fifth consecutive domestic title in October and their second AFC Champions League in three years the following month.

The official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted a source close to the club as saying operations were not affected.

Ke, who had been chairman since last year, was formerly director of branding for parent Evergrande Group, a commercial real estate group, it said.

Current board member Liu Yongzhuo, who was previously chairman, could be reappointed to the role, Xinhua said.

Developer Evergrande holds a 56.71 percent stake in the club and e-commerce giant Alibaba has 37.81 percent, with the rest in the hands of other investors following a share sale through a Chinese over-the-counter market last month.

The Asian champions raised $132 million from new investors in a deal that valued it at $2.4 billion — within striking distance of Manchester United. – Agence France-Presse

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