JEF United Ichihara Chiba are a Japanese football club who were founded in 1946. The team were originally called Furukawa Electric Soccer Club and were a company team upon their formation. During 1991, they merged with the JR East's company team to become the rebranded JEF United Ichihara. In 2005, the club added the ‘Chiba’ to the end of their name as Chiba City had joined Ichihara.
During their early years, the club won the Japan Soccer League twice, the Emperor's Cup on four occasions and the JSL Cup three times. Furukawa also became the first ever Japanese club to win the Asian Club Championship in 1986. As a company team, they were never relegated from the top league since it was incepted in 1965. In 1978, they finished in a relegation position but stayed up after a two leg Play Off against Honda FC.
The J League was founded in 1993 with JEF United as one of the ten clubs involved. Early on, the team struggled against keeping their proud relegation record intact but continually managed to survive throughout the 1990's. Their best achievement during this time was making the final of the J League Cup in 1998 where they unfortunately lost.
However, the noughties bought more success in 2001 with a third place finish that they repeated in 2003. Two fourth place finishes followed in 2004 and 2005 before they managed to win the J League Cup in 2005 and 2006. However, the team started to decline and in 2009, they were disappointingly relegated for the first time in their history to the second tier of Japanese football.