Giravanz Kitakyushu (ギラヴァンツ北九州, Giravantsu Kitakyushu) is a Japanese football club based in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture. The club's name was changed from New Wave Kitakyushu (ニューウェーブ北九州, Nyu Webu Kitakyushu) as of 1 December 2009. They played in the Japan Football League from 2008–2009, and were promoted to J. League Division 2 (J2) for the 2010 season. They played in J2 until the 2016 season, but suffered relegation to the 2017 J3 League after being ranked 22nd. After slumping to the bottom of the 2018 J3 League, they bounced back to become champions in 2019, so were then promoted back to J2 for the 2020 season.
Mitsubishi Chemical SC (1947–2000)
The club was formed in 1947 as part of Mitsubishi Chemical's Kurosaki factory. The club was a founding member of Kyushu regional league since 1973. Most of its career was spent in the regional and prefectural leagues, as Kitakyushu was represented in the Japan Soccer League by Yahata Steel F.C. Yahata was a founding member of the JSL in 1965, and finished as runner-up in its first two seasons in that league. Yahata was renamed New Nippon Steel F.C. in 1970, when Yahata Steel merged with Fuji Steel to form (New) Nippon Steel. It ultimately was relegated to the Second Division in 1982, then relegated from the Second Division to Kyushu regional league after 1990–91 season, and closed in 1999.
New Wave Kitakyushu (2001–2009)
In 2001, the club became a community-oriented club (New Wave) Kitakyushu F.C.
In 2007 New Wave took second place in the Regional League promotion series, and was promoted to the JFL for the 2008 season.
The club applied for J. League Associate Membership in January 2008, and the application was accepted at the J. League board meeting on February 19, 2008.
On 1 April 2009, the club made an announcement that they would be accepting suggestions for a new name. This was because the name "New Wave" may cause trademark or tradename disputes. Therefore, the new name had to be something not yet registered as a trademark.
Giravanz Kitakyushu (2010–)
On 2 October 2009, they announced that the new club name for the 2010 season would be Giravanz Kitakyushu (ギラヴァンツ北九州, Giravantsu Kitakyushu). According to the official news release, the name "Giravanz" is coined from two Italian words: "Girasole", which means "sunflower", and "Avanzare", which means "moving forward". (The sunflower is one of Kitakyushu's symbol flowers.)
On 23 November 2009, after a 2–1 win away against Arte Takasaki, Kitakyushu secured a top four position in the JFL for the 2009 season, regardless of the result at the final week of 2009 JFL. This means they will play in J. League Division 2 for the 2010 season, something which was confirmed by the J.League board meeting on 30 November 2009.
In its inaugural year in the pro ranks, despite attaining a large number of draw matches, Kitakyushu set new records for fewest wins and points in the season standings.
After several seasons in J2 League, on 20 November 2016 they suffered their first relegation to J3 League.
Colour, sponsors and manufacturers.
This page also has a version in other languages: Джираванц Китакюсю (russian)