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This is why the whole world is talking about Sweden: “It is destroying football” |  Svenskan

This is why the whole world is talking about Sweden: “It is destroying football” | Svenskan

Last winter, brothers Mike and Andy called their mutual friend Neil. They did so to tell us that they planned to start a podcast about Allsvenskan. Neil didn’t understand anything. “What the hell is Allsvenskan?”.

Until then, Neil, just like Mike and Andy, had mostly focused his footballing attention on his home city of London, his native England – and the Premier League. Despite the fact that the three have lived in Stockholm for several years (Andy moved here because of work, Mike because of Andy, and Neil who they met through a local soccer team) they have barely seen a single match in the Swedish top flight.

– All the people we know who moved here from England say the same thing: “I can’t get into the Swedish Premier League.” “I don’t know how to follow it, I know what it is.” It was the same with us.

– Yes, everyone’s name is Gustafsson. Which Gustafsson is the good Gustafsson?

Big gaps in knowledge became apparent when the first episode of the podcast “WTF Is Allsvenskan” was released. Neal thought about turning the tables alphabetically. Mike Mjällby placed AIF in second place.

– I don’t know any of their players, but I think they will put pressure on Djurgården all the way.

Five months and 22 episodes later, it’s confession time. The three Englishmen are sitting in a bar in central Stockholm. A replay of the Sheffield United FC-Manchester City FC match is playing in the background.

-I meant Elfsborg!

He laughs.

Andy explains:

– Watch some pre-season matches: “The team in yellow is good.”

More laughter.

-It’s crazy how much we know now.

Neil, Mike and Andy run the WTF Is Allsvenskan podcast.

picture: private


In terms of performance, Allsvenskan is pretty stagnant. Over the past five years, the league has been consistently ranked around 22nd by UEFA.

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In terms of interest, the trend is more up. At the end of August, Swedish Elite Football announced that the Swedish Premier League was heading towards a record year in terms of crowd attendance. An average of 10,000 spectators per match is on hand. Allsvenskan has never reached this point as a 16-team series.

In the world, more and more people began to wonder curiously: “What are they really doing up north?” With the help of Visit Switzerland, Expressen produced figures showing that the number of global Google searches on Allsvenskan has risen by 23 percent since last summer.

Elite Swedish football sees the same trend. Figures from Allsvenskan’s combined ticketing system show that the number of foreign visitors, from countries such as Germany, the United States and Great Britain, has increased compared to last year.

– The increased foreign interest is of course very interesting. We still want to say that the Swedish Premier League is one of the most interesting leagues in the whole of Europe. We have many more teams that can win our series than other leagues,” says Ola Rydén, League Director at Swedish Elite Soccer.

More than 40,000 people witnessed AIK beat Djurgården IF in Sunday’s derby at the Friends Arena.

picture: Jesper Zerman / Photo Agency

The record total attendance for the Allsvenskan and Superettan championships, together and in the current format, was set in the 2015 season when 2,781,702 spectators visited the arenas. This year it can be fought.

picture: Christian Orenberg/Photo Agency

Zero to at least three matches per week. Neil, Mike and Andy have become caught up in the reality of the Swedish Superliga – while at the same time reclaiming their love of football. For a while he was on the verge of disappearing from them.

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-We are very tired of the money in the Premier League. The situation at Chelsea is heart-wrenching. Then you have Newcastle, Manchester City and United to be acquired by Qatar…

– where. It ruins football for me. And All nonsense About the Premier League a few years ago.

– When I return to England, I cannot get tickets for the Arsenal match. Or I can if I pay £150.

Everything is different about Allsvenskan. There is no room here, nor any prices or money from Qatar.

– What did you pay, 80 SEK to see Brommabojkarna-Varnamo?

– Now there’s a reason it’s so cheap… (Laughter).

– I know, but it is a match in the first division in Europe.

– Mmm, the Premier League has become so shiny, so rubbery.

– You killed the atmosphere in the arenas.

Many seem to agree. To make it more clear, Neil, Mike and Andy told us that they have listeners from around 30 different countries. Including a man from Mexico who throws himself into every episode.

The Swedish Premier League is everything football should be. Availability and communication with audiences…

– We often joke about it on the podcast, where a team can come up and thank four away fans for their trip.

– When I was watching Varnamo’s match against Brommapojkarna, the players came. I had a short chat with Hampus Näsström. nice man!

– Arsenal was praised for the team’s movement and the applause of the fans. You cannot get within 40 meters of them. There is no chance to speak to Odegaard (Martin) after the match. But Hampus Nastrum!

Or Andreas Johansson, Tom Peterson, Nahir Bessara…

Allsvenskan according to “WTF Is Allsvenskan”

The latter is the captain of Andy’s favorite Swedish team, Hammarby IF. The claim that they have captured Arsenal’s place in the heart of its fans (Andy has been a member in the red and white for almost 30 years) must be taken into account. Meanwhile: When it came time for Henry’s son (named after Arsenal legend Thierry Henry) to watch his first football match, it wasn’t at the Emirates Stadium (which was always the plan). Instead of Tele 2 Arena.

-He spent half the time watching the Hammarby fans jumping up and down, lighting the torches… He absolutely loves Hammarby now.

Henry is also training with one of the club’s academy teams.

– Pride in a man’s eyes… goes everywhere with a Hammarby reel. It’s great! It wouldn’t be the same if it were Arsenal. There, he will only be able to attend one game every three years. maybe. I try to go once a year and that alone is difficult. And expensive.

– The English Premier League is a beautiful league, I will not say anything else. The football there is great, but it’s not accessible. It’s not something you can really be a part of. It’s like walking past a nice restaurant and thinking: “This looks great, I’d like to eat that.” Then you go to McDonald’s and have a burger.

-And there is a big mistake in goalkeeping!

New laughs.

– Sometimes when you look at the Swedish top flight schedule, you might think it’s not going to be a fun week. None of the top teams meet each other. Then you get these crazy, unexpected matches.

– Like Varberg-Halmstad, 5-0!

– Or Campos (Diego) bites someone’s ear.

– Almost every week something happens where I think: “What the hell happened?”

Svenskan. Allsvenskan event.

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