KIA has made a decision after the 2021 season. It forced its CEO, president and general manager to step down at the same time. Former manager, who was the best third baseman in the Major League, had to leave Korea one year before his term was set. With time difference, the team appointed its CEO, general manager, and manager in turn.
At that time, Kia recruited former general manager Jang Jung-seok and immediately took full control of the team’s management. As soon as he took office, he moved to Changwon to recruit Na Sung-bum, the biggest FA player. The CEO has already reported his plans to recruit manager and FA to the parent company, and Jang was named FA Winner based on the budget that was quickly executed.
And then head coach Kim Jong-kook was appointed. After the former coach resigned, he set his direction to appoint a domestic coach, and the number one insider was head coach Kim Jong-guk. That’s how the Jang Jung-seok and Kim Jong-guk system raised the anchor. The FA contract of Yang Hyun-jong was in some pain, but it was the 2022 season with the best scenario.
As a result, Kia successfully advanced to the postseason for the first time in four years in the 2022 season. It was a season that ended with just one game, but it promoted the growth of young players as it failed to make the postseason for the past three years, and recruited new players to ensure its future. Analysts say that Jang Jung-seok and Kim Jong-guk also showed good teamwork.
However, the trade that former general manager Jang Jung-seok attempted became the seed of misfortune. In fact, as soon as he took office, he demanded catcher Park Dong-won from Kiwoom Heroes. Park Dong-won had also asked the club for a trade. In the end, he succeeded in a trade in the early 2022 season, but he was a year away from the FA. And negotiations on a non-FA multi-year contract did not go through. Negotiations to be completed before the end of the season even went to the FA market.
Eventually, Park Dong-won left KIA by signing a contract with LG. Later, as Jang Jong-seok’s misconduct was revealed during negotiations, he stepped down infamously as soon as the 2023 season exhibition game was over. Currently, the prosecution is said to have detected circumstantial evidence that money and valuables also flowed to head coach Kim Jong-guk at that time. There is a reason why the prosecution tied Jang Jung-seok and head coach Kim Jong-guk and applied for an arrest warrant.
Rumors have spread here and there that there is a suspicion that Jang Jung-seok and Kim Jong-kook are taking bribes from a sponsor company. This is also a matter that can be concluded through investigation. If Kim Jong-kook actually had an irregularity, he would have led the team for one more season after Jang’s resignation without anyone knowing.
History does not sit idly by the unjust past. Investigation by law enforcement agencies is significant in leading a bright future by thoroughly digging into the past. Even if the court issues an arrest warrant to director Kim Jong-guk and investigates him, he may be acquitted later on. We cannot criticize director Kim Jong-guk prematurely just yet. The two will appear at the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday and will undergo a review on the warrant’s validity.
However, it is the first time in the history of professional sports that a coach has been granted an arrest warrant for personal corruption. It is safe to say that the fact alone has undermined transparency and fairness, the lifeblood of sports. Under these circumstances, would there be any justification for coach Kim Jong-kook to take the helm again? Kia needs to make a good decision on its coach’s future regardless of the prosecution’s investigation results.
BY: 토토사이트 추천