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BEIJING - Shanghai Shenxin luckily escaped relegation from the Chinese Super League (CSL) after the country's most successful soccer club Dalian Shide decided to withdraw from the top-flight tournament, the Chinese Football Association said on Thursday.
Shenxin ranked 15th in the 16-team CSL last season and would be demoted to the second division in 2013, but a trouble-ridden Shide came to their rescue less than two months before the start of the new season.
"As Shide have requested to give up their sport in the CSL due to difficulties in running the club, Shanghai Shenxin will be filled in the vacancy in order to keep the order of the CSL," CFA said in a statement.
Shide, which won the jia A League, China's first professional league, in its inaugural season in 1994, and went on to take another six jia A titles before winning the rebranded CSL in 2005, had been struggling for cash during the past year, and were plunged into financial limbo after the CFA blocked a merger with city rivals Dalian Aerbin earlier this month.
As a result of Shenxin's stay in CSL, Beijing Baxy avoided demotion from the second division, the CFA said.