Sagan Tosu is a professional soccer team in the J. League. Their home town is Tosu, Saga prefecture, and their home stadium is the Best Amenity Stadium.
October of 1991, Saga Football Association decided to invite the PJM Futures that at the time was part of the Shizuoka Prefectural League’s 1st division to Saga prefecture. In 1994, the team changed their home town to Tosu city, as well as their team name to Tosu Futures. The same year they were recognized as J. League associate members.
However, because the parent company, PJM Japan, withdrew from club management, Tosu Futures decided to disband the club due to financial troubles. Thanks to over 50,000 people who signed a petition requesting the team to continue their activities, Tosu Futures was reborn in January of 1997 under the name Sagan Tosu FC.
The new team was formed with only 20 members that were hastily assembled from old Tosu Futures’ players and loaned players from other teams. The team had to start their activities from a difficult financial situation, where in order to reduce costs the players’ labor expenses were handled by other companies.
Starting from 1997 the team played in JFL for two years, and in 1999 they joined J2 right when it was launched.
After the disbandment of Tosu Futures, Sagan Tosu planned to stabilize their finances by acquiring many small time stockholders, since they were unable to attract large sponsor, however the club continued to lose money and their budget became insufficient to continue healthy operations.
Because of that many of the main players were removed from the team. Their results continued to hang low and for a while there were serious concerns about whether the club would be able to survive.
In 2005, they announced that the clubs managing rights would be transferred to Sagan Dreams Co., which put an end to the clubs financial problems that had existed since the beginning. Thanks to the improved financial situation, they were able to recruit several skilled players from the J. League, and slowly started to produce stable results in the regular season matches.
In 2011, former South-Korea national team player Yoon Jong-hwan, who had finished his career as a player in Sagan Tosu, was hired as the new manager. Under his leadership and with the help of Yohei Toyoda, who became the J2 Leading Scorer after his 23 goals, Sagan Tosu finished the season in 2nd place and achieved their long awaited goal of promoting to J1.
Moreover, in 2012, when many critics predicted that the club would finish in last place and relegate to J2, thanks to the team’s great stamina and excellent tactical use of short passing counter attack while pressing from the front line, they ended the season in 5th place during their first promotion on their first year in J1, which still remains their best result.
Also, their ace player, Toyoda, who earned 2nd place in the Top Scorers rankings with 19 goals, finally caught a lucky break when he was selected for the J. League Best Eleven award and invited to play in the Japan national team.
Following their success, their financial situation started to stabilize as they signed a contract with a large sponsor, and they have been the subject of even more attention since they acquired Fernando Torres (FW) from the Spanish team Atletico Madrid in July of 2018.
Their home jersey is blue and pink color. Since 2015 the team’s jerseys have been supplied by New Balance. Their jerseys have sponsor logos from DHC, Cygames, The Saga Shimbun, and others.