Norwegian women’s football is in action. The goal is to become the top 6 in the European league by 2028.
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Today it is Toppserien, which is the name of the main women’s league in Norway, and Norwegian club football for women. 12th place in Europe – and is behind countries like the Czech Republic, Iceland and Kazakhstan. By comparison, men’s club football is currently ranked 20th in Europe.
– A hairy goal, says Hege Jørgensen, CEO of Toppfotball Kvinner, the association of the 20 clubs of the first two divisions.
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– We had a great strategy meeting this weekend, in which all 20 clubs were present. The theme was goal and ambition for the league.
In recent years, Norwegian women’s soccer has plunged deep into seven leagues with which they hope to compete for one of the top 6 positions among the European women’s soccer leagues: France, Germany, England, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and neighboring Sweden. since to a greater extent than Norway has had the ability to attract the really big stars.
There has been a rapid development where the big men’s clubs have established their women’s clubs.
– It’s a train that runs now, and we want to get on it, says Hege Jørgensen.
– Now the big money also comes from women’s football. These are the same mechanisms that were introduced to men’s football in the 1990s, and where Rosenborg and Norwegian football were able to keep up and thus a lot of money was added.
– What parameters do you work with?
– The results in the Champions League are important. Therefore, we must have flagships that work.
– Are you talking about one flagship or several?
– We’ll probably talk about more.
– Right now it’s Rosenborg, Sandviken, which will probably be Brann next year, and
Vålerenga, who is at the helm, and LSK Women also want to be there. But
it’s not just about these. We must include the entire league and national team A.
It’s very important. May they qualify and do well
Of course, it is mainly about economics. And Jørgensen is optimistic:
– We need to sit down with NFF and partners and see where this will come from. As early as 2023, there will be NOK 35 million in media revenue.
She believes that the opportunities are good:
– In the new Champions League, he will give four million just for qualifying. Considering that the average budget in Toppserien is just over NOK 10 million, this is a lot of money. The winner of the Champions League will receive NOK 40 million.
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– Is it about preventing players from disappearing into large foreign clubs?
– All the best players have a professional dream. They dream of experiences and of being professional and developing, and not least of the opportunity to bet on football full time. So far, there have been limited opportunities for that in Norway. That is still the case, but there has been a great development in the last three or four years. More and more people see the opportunity to earn a living playing soccer in Norway. This may mean that we manage to retain players for a few years before they disappear abroad.
After the crown has suspended the new series scheme for women’s football for two years, in 2022 it is finally ready for something completely new, reminiscent of Danish men’s football.
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– Among other things, we will have a playoff for the top four. This means that the best clubs will meet more often. We know this improves performance.
Lise Klaveness, NFF Director for Top Soccer, admits that something is urgent:
– NFF Elite has carried out a good strategy process together with Toppfotball Kvinner and the clubs in recent days. Everyone now sees the same image: the professionalisation of the best clubs in Europe is gaining momentum now, also due to the change in the format and financing model of the Women’s Champions League.
– We must give a significant boost to the best clubs in Norway. And it is urgent. There is great agreement on the goal of the Toppserien being the top 6 in Europe by 2028, Klaveness continues.
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He realizes that at the moment he is well above 12th place today:
– Actually, we must have two teams in the group stage of the Champions League every year, for five years, to be able to reach the goal. Such a goal requires large and competitive flagships. And the trend in Europe is completely unequivocal: they are the clubs where the big men’s clubs have started the efforts of the women, which are imposed in the Champions League.
– In Norway, we have strong traditions on the part of women. We left early and we were very early and very long. Now we must prevent history from becoming a brake, but use this as a force to see new opportunities in a new market, says the NFF’s top football manager.