Yokohama F. Marinos is a Japanese association football team that participates in the fully professional J. League Division 1; the top Japanese professional football league. Having won the J-League title three times and finished second twice, they are one of the most successful J-League clubs. The team is based in Yokohama and were founded as the company team of Nissan Motors. The club was formed by the merger of Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama Flügels in 1999. The current name is intended to reflect both Marinos and Flügels. The team name Marinos means “sailors” in Spanish. Yokohama F. Marinos are the longest-serving team in the top flight of Japanese football having played at the top-level since 1982, also making them one of only four teams to have competed in Japan’s top flight of football every year since its inception.
In 1972, the team started as the Nissan Motors F.C. based in Yokohama, and were promoted to the Japan Soccer League Division 2 in 1976. They took necessary steps like building a friendly relationship with local high schools and universities and starting junior teams for school kids to be a winning team. Under the first paid or professional team manager in Japan Shu Kamo, the team won championships in 1988 and 1989 as well as the JSL Cup and Emperor’s Cup winning all three major tournaments in Japan at that time.
In 1991, it was one of the founding members of the J.League. In 1998, after losing one of their primary sponsors, it was announced that crosstown rivals Yokohama Flügels would merge with Marinos. Since then, an F was added to the name to represent the Flügels half of the club. Many Flügels fans rejected the merger, rather believing their club to have been dissolved into Marinos. As a result, they refused to follow F. Marinos and instead created Yokohama FC, F. Marinos’ new crosstown rivals.
Yokohama F. Marinos won the Emperor’s Cup on New Years Day 2014, their first in twenty-one years. On 20 May 2014, it was announced that City Football Group, the holding company of Manchester City F.C., had invested in a minority share of Yokohama F. Marinos, creating a partnership with both the football club and car manufacturer Nissan. The investment is designed to offer an integrated approach to football, marketing, media, commercial, training and medical care consistent with other City Football Group investments such as Manchester City F.C., Melbourne City FC and the New York City FC. City Football Group holds 20 percent of Yokohama F. Marinos’ but through the establishment of a Japan-based subsidiary may seek to eventually own a controlling stake in the club
The team’s home stadiums are Nissan Stadium, otherwise known as International Stadium Yokohama (72,327), and Mitsuzawa Stadium.
In closing, the club has a rich history which I hope to continue. So far, things are going well and I couldn’t be happier. At some point I may go back to managing a European club but I am enjoying being a journeyman manager.