Yang Saixin, interim board chairman of Chinese Super League champions Shenzhen Jianlibao, said on Wednesday the club has succumbed to some "ruffian" players who have always wanted to control the club.
"Some of them are far more than football players," said Yang at a new conference. "They are multimillionaires, have their own companies and are able to fix matches. They are more gangsters than players. "
Yang, who quit his position after head coach Chi Shangbin was fired without his consent on Tuesday, said it was these "ruffians" who have got Chi fired.
Yang stopped short of mentioning a specific player but Chi revealed on Tuesday that club captain Li Weifeng was "head of the ruffians".
Chi took over as head coach of the Chinese champions after his predecessor Zhu Guanghu was named as Chinese national coach.
But the relations between the former Chinese national team assistant coach and the players immediately turned sour because of his tough management.
"Some of the key players are always late for morning trainings, and they always gambled and drank until early morning," Chi said at the press conference.
The defending champions are languishing at the bottom on China Super League standings with four draws and five losses.
The Shenzhen club was bought by Beijing-based Huitian Zhongheng Group early this year. Chi's sack was announced by club general manager Yang Meng on Tuesday but Yang Saixin, also vice chairman of Huitian Zhongheng Group, said he is still the club's interim chairman before his resignation is accepted by the group.
"Chi is still the club's head coach," he claimed at the news conference.