Arrest Warrants for Former Korean Baseball GM and Manager in 10 Million Yen Kickback Scandal | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Arrest Warrants for Former Korean Baseball GM and Manager in 10 Million Yen Kickback Scandal

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Tigers manager Kim for which an arrest warrant was requested.

Amid the excitement of professional baseball teams kicking off their spring training camps in February and fans gearing up for the upcoming season, a situation has dampened the high spirits in Korea. Arrest warrants have been requested for the general manager and manager of the Kia Tigers, putting a cloud over the team’s management and operations.


On January 30th, the Seoul Central District Court conducted a warrant review for Chang Jung-suk, the former GM (51), and Kim Jong-kook, the manager (51) of the Kia Tigers. According to South Korean media outlet ‘Yonhap News,’ they are suspected of embezzlement and bribery, allegedly receiving over 100 million won (approximately 10 million yen) in gifts from a sponsor company, a coffee sales firm identified as Company A.

It was supposed to be a joke.


“The root cause was the hidden money suspicions that arose during the 2022 season. A key player, Player B, who was with the Tigers, obtained free agency rights. According to reports from ‘Chosun Ilbo’ and others, it is said that former GM Chang offered Player B a multi-year contract during negotiations and made the following statement: ‘I promise a large contract, so give me a portion.’ Player B refused and reported Chang’s actions to the Players’ Association. Furthermore, a recording of Chang’s demand for secret funds was leaked, causing a major issue.” (South Korean Newspaper Reporter)

When various media outlets simultaneously reported the suspicions of hidden funds, former GM Chang explained that he meant it as a joke. However, taking the situation seriously, the Players’ Association expressed that it wasan unimaginable event, leading to the Tigers dismissing Chang from his GM position. Prosecutors also launched an investigation.

“The prosecution conducted a search of former GM Chang’s residence and other locations. It was during this search that the demand for kickbacks to Sponsor Company A surfaced. According to the prosecution, Manager Kim was also involved. The two allegedly demanded tens of millions of won (several hundred thousand yen) from Company A in exchange for selecting them as a sponsor. Furthermore, they are said to have received over 100 million won (approximately 10 million yen) in total over multiple occasions.” (Same source)

After becoming a sponsor, the Tigers’ uniforms featured Company A’s logo, and a facility named after the company was built at the home stadium. Additionally, events were held at the stadium where Company A’s products were distributed to fans.

“After dismissing former GM Chang over suspicions, the Tigers also relieved Manager Kim of his duties on January 29th for failing to report the allegations. They’ve been holding their training camp in Canberra, Australia, since February, an unprecedented situation without a commander. Players seem unable to hide their agitation. Despite finishing 6th last season (out of 10 teams), they were considered one of the contenders for the championship after successful offseason acquisitions, so fans are deeply disappointed.”

It is unprecedented for an arrest warrant to be issued for a current manager, and depending on the details of the interrogation of the two players, further tremors may hit the Korean professional baseball world.


  • PHOTO Kyodo News

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles