Two of the country’s ski districts have written letters harshly criticizing the board of the Norwegian Ski Association for handling the ongoing conflict with ski jumping director Clas Brede Bråthen (52).
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Displays letters from Akershus and Buskerud Skikrets, which VG has gained access to.
The letters clearly state that the case has become a major reputational problem for Ski-Norge. The letters were sent to the address of the ski association as early as September 22.
So it was by a sponsor like LO turned off the money tap – in protest of what has happened lately.
“The fact that the ski board has not shown its responsibility to solve the case raises great concern throughout the organization”, It says in the letter that it is signed by the board in the Buskerud district.
They state that the board of the ski association, which is chaired by ski president Erik Røste, has not understood that the Bråthen case has developed from a personnel case to a reputation case.
The Buskerud district believes enthusiasm among volunteers is weakening and says interest from local sponsors is weakening. The message for Røste and the ski board is clear: Clean.
“The case is no longer just an administrative matter. It is mainly the ski board, as responsible, who must take the necessary steps to resolve the matter “, it is said in the letter.
Then Buskerud opens the ski circuit to demand extraordinary skiing if nothing happens. This may mean that Erik Røste’s entire board of directors is up for grabs.
The voice shares concern
Ski President Erik Røste emphasizes to VG that the board shares the ski districts’ concern that the matter needs to be resolved and that therefore the board has taken action:
“To fulfill the wish of the jumping community for Clas Brede to continue in a sporting position, the ski board decided in a meeting with the jumping committee last Monday to offer Bråthen the role of director of the national jumping team. In this role, he would obtain the same conditions that he has today and could concentrate on sports tasks “, writes Voice in email to VG.
Internal letter: jumping committee supports new proposal in Bråthen case
He claims that Bråthen rejected further dialogue.
From what VG understands, there is still disagreement over who Bråthen will report to in the offer Røste mentions, which now creates a gap between the parties: Bråthen will not spend money on a new position that will cost Ski-Norge money. But the ski association does not want Bråthen to define its own leader.
Buskerud is not alone. The Akershus district has also sent a letter in the last two weeks. The district describes the ongoing conflict as “sad” and believes the reputation of the sport of skiing is damaged:
“Now we are experiencing a management that, unfortunately, does not live up to our values in the Norwegian Ski Association”, it is indicated on the letter of which VG has a copy.
– Then Akershus district pulls out a recent letter from a central leader of the Norwegian Ski Association, where it was discussed with the work that is supposedly done for women jumping from the Central Ski Association. The Akershus Ski District disagrees with this defense speech, which is described as “strange”:
“We ask the current board to clean this up.” it says in the letter.
Clas Brede Bråthen has worked as the sports director of the national jumping team for 17 years, on temporary contracts. Athletes, sponsors, and coaches alike want it, and so on. But conflicts with the ski association management mean the 52-year-old is unwanted when the contract expires in the spring.
The management of the ski association believes that Bråthen has an unacceptable behavior in Norwegian working life. Bråthen has responded by suing the employer, because he believes that time as a temporary employee entitles him to a permanent job.
The Akershus ski district has not received a response to its email, district leader Vidar Ruud tells VG. You had expected a solution, but experience the case as deadlock:
– A solution where Clas Brede Bråthen could report to Ståle Villumstad (jumping events manager) would have been a good solution, says Ruud.
The Norwegian Ski Federation opens for the dismissal of Bråthen
It is a solution to which the apparatus around Bråthen has been opened, but which has been rejected by the ski association. They are clear that Bråthen will not be allowed to choose his own leader.
The Buskerud ski district says in an SMS to VG that they receive confirmation that the ski board has addressed the matter and that it is satisfactory. They are concerned about reputation, as well as the fact that the case is no longer handled solely administratively.
“The ski board deeply regrets the strain this has had on the entire organization and fully understands that we can no longer live with the situation unresolved,” ski president Erik Røste writes in an email to VG.