Recently crowned Chinese Super League champion Jiangsu FC said on Sunday it would cease operations, while expressing hope that new backers might be able to take over.

In a post on its official WeChat account, the club said it continued to hope for a company or “someone of insight” willing to consult about the future of the team.

The move came as the financial struggles of some leading clubs in China become ever more apparent, and followed media reports that Jiangsu FC was on the verge of going out of business if a new buyer was not found to take over from current owner, the Suning Group .

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The Nanjing-based retail giant, one of the biggest in China, and which also owns Italian Serie A side Inter Milan, announced earlier in the month it intends to focus on its core business, leaving non-retail assets at risk.

That includes Jiangsu FC, who won the Chinese Super League title last year for the first time in its history with a playoff win over eight-time champion Guangzhou Evergrande.