June 14, 2017 / 8:32 AM / in a month

Eriksson's Shenzhen demise signalled in verse

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FILE PHOTO: Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson arrives for the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge in London May 13, 2012.Eddie Keogh

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese second division side Shenzhen FC have published a poem on their website to welcome the return of Wang Baoshan as head coach, a move that appeared to signal the end of Sven-Goran Eriksson's tenure.

Former England, Manchester City and Lazio manager Eriksson was charged with getting the club into the Chinese Super League when he took over from former Dutch international Clarence Seedorf at the start of the season.

No mention was made of the Swede in Tuesday's statement or on the club website, but Chinese media have reported that the 69-year-old had been fired.

Shenzhen are currently fourth in China League One, seven points behind leaders Dalian Yifan, but have been on a poor run of form of late with the result a recall for former China striker Wang.

"Eleven years ago, you led Shenzhen football and never let us down," read the poem.

"Nine years ago, you took over responsibilities and saved Shenzhen football.

"Memories of fighting together have never gone away, and now we recall the legend.

"For Shenzhen, we are reunited, starting a new trip together.

"Coach Wang, welcome home."

Eriksson took over at the start of the year having steered Shanghai SIPG to third place in last season's Chinese Super League and to the last eight of the Asian Champions League.

He moved to China in 2013 to take charge of Guangzhou R&F, a club he also guided to the Asian Champions League before moving to Shanghai two years later for a two-season stint.

Shenzhen have drawn two and lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions and picked up a point against Nei Mongol Zhongyou in a 3-3 draw on Saturday, which looks like being the Serie A-winning coach's last match in charge.

Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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