On the 10th, Pohang announced that it had appointed Lee Jong-ha, head of the Power Reinforcement Office, as the 8th general manager. Initially, it seemed that a new leader would be appointed through personnel from parent company POSCO, but the atmosphere suddenly changed. It is rumored that even inside the club, the news of the appointment of Lee was somewhat surprised.
It is a very rare case for a former front desk officer to be appointed as a general manager. In particular, when the club owner, the mayor or governor, changes clothes without fail. This year, Suwon FC general manager Kim Ho-gon stepped down, and Gangwon FC’s CEO Lee Young-pyo, not the general manager, left and CEO Kim Byeong-ji took office. It is common for corporate clubs to appoint a member from the parent company as the general manager. Director Jang Young-bok of Pohang, who was the leader until last year, is also from POSCO.
Pohang broke the mold. He was born as a soccer player and played an active part as a soccer player in the Pohang Jecheol (now Posco) sports team management class, and joined Pohang in 1996, the year after the club became an independent corporation. He is truly a ‘Steelers Man’ who has been through practical work at the front for 27 years, starting from the team’s head, player support team leader, public relations marketing team leader, dream tree creation planning leader, and power reinforcement office manager. From 2017 to last year, he worked hard to form a team as the head of the Power Reinforcement Office.
Usually, when a new leader takes office, it takes more than a month just to figure out the job. A month is quite a long time when preparing for a new season. Lee, who is more knowledgeable about club management than anyone else, has no need for that. He doesn’t have to spend time figuring it out.
Director Lee went straight to work. There is a lot to do. He said, “This year is the 50th anniversary of the founding. We will do our best so that the club can make a new leap while playing with the citizens of Pohang.” An official from a club said, “I think the birth of a former front manager will be a good precedent. Many people in the soccer world will pay attention to Lee’s move.”
Meanwhile, former general manager Jang Young-bok, who has been in charge of the club’s housekeeping for the past six years, has moved to an advisory position.