Wednesday, May 18

Supporter uprising in the Obosligaen: – Complete madness

The main round of the Obosligaen will this year be played on Mondays. It makes the fans furious. Only a few clubs welcome Monday.

DOWN: Brann supporters see their own team lose 0-3 against Mjøndalen in the qualifiers in 2014. It ended with relegation for Brann.

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– Monday is a terrible day, says Brann supporter and Battalion leader Erlend Vågane.

He claims the whole of Supporter-Norway will say the same thing.

– Complete madness, says Thomas Ramstad in Kongsvinger Supporter Club.

Acidly, he expresses that “now it can not be desirable for people to come to battle, and at least not create atmosphere”.

– If you want to build Norwegian football for the future, you have to make it easier for athletes and the public. Not more difficult, says Vidar Vadseth at Saftkokaradn in Sogndal. He is the leader of the Norwegian Supporter Alliance.

SOGNDAL FAN: Vidar Vadseth gets a good hug from the then Sogndal player Rune Bolseth in 2016. Bolseth gave away his own jersey to the supporters.

VG’s call to the clubs shows that:

  • Four clubs – YMCA, Kongsvinger, Ranheim and Åsane – think it is right to test on Monday.
  • Ten clubs – Brann, Bryne, Fredrikstad, Mjøndalen, Sandnes Ulf, Sogndal, Stabæk, Start, Grorud and Stjørdals-Blink – will have the round this weekend.
  • Skeid rather towards the weekend, but is like Raufoss quite open.

– Monday is not very family friendly. It is sad for the supporters, and we lose money on it, says Bryne leader Lars Enevoldsen.

The biggest – but not the only – concern is that people do not show up on a Monday at 18.00.

– We must respect that the media pays a lot and wants to test that the Obosliga is alone. It’s okay to try, then we’ll get an evaluation, says Kongsvinger leader Espen Nystuen.

RESPONDS: Fire supporter Erlend Vågane (left) and Kongsvinger supporter Thomas Ramstad.

Pål Breen, commercial manager of Norsk Toppfotball, says he is a little surprised that so many clubs are negative until Monday – not least since their own survey showed around 50/50 last year.

He has a great understanding that supporters are critical, but would like to point out that all clubs get at least five home games this weekend during the season.

He also promises a thorough evaluation after the 2022 season.

The choice of Monday is based on the clubs’ desire to get out of the shadow of the Elite Series.

During the pandemic years, where the league has been played on Mondays and other “own” days, the coverage has doubled, according to Breen.

– But then we have not been able to measure what it means for the audience numbers, he admits.

Breen points out that the TV program “Football Direct”, where you can follow the main round, has been a huge success – and that the clubs embrace it.

YES TO MONDAY: Espen Nystuen, here as Kongsvinger coach against Tromsø in 2020, belongs to the minority.

Licensee Discovery has been concerned that the Obosligaen will not collide with other Norwegian and international football.

– We think it gives the league more attention and visibility, which gives both more TV viewers and more audiences in the stands, says Martin Hinsch, communications consultant at Discovery.

Sogndal and Grorud believe the solution is Saturday.

– It is almost impossible for our supporters to travel on a Monday, and for others to come here. It is also difficult for local supporters with a little travel distance, says event manager Geir Inge Heggestad in Sogndal Football.

Ranheim leader Frank Lidahl launches:

– Personally, I am very much for «Friday Night Football». We must try, fail, experience and learn, says Lidahl, who wants the Obosliga to “be something of its own”. Therefore, he is also positive to test on Monday.

– It is an obvious advantage that we are on a separate day, it is a possibility. Then it is negative when heavy teams with many away supporters are in the league, he believes.

The Norwegian Football Association, NTF, Football Media and licensee Discovery jointly set up the game plan.

– But there are not many free times on TV. Saturday and Sunday are the Elite Series and international football, and we must also take into account the Toppserien, says Breen about the desire for a TV program that follows the Obosliga.

Reference-www.aftenposten.no

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