Norwegian top leagues continue trend of financial troubles

By Ciara McCormack

While the Toppserien lost Donn to bankruptcy at the end of 2010, before the start of the 2011, the 1st Division had already lost Orkla and Manglerud Star because of financial trouble. Now, not even a quarter way through the 2011 season, financial concerns continue to plague Norway’s historically strong leagues. Last week, Trondheim’s Orn was in the headlines because of financial troubles. Assistant coach Peter Pedersen was let go due to financial troubles, and it was reported that head coach Goril Kringen is currently coaching without a contract.

This week, Fotball Magasinet is reporting that current Toppserien leader Roa has had to make cuts to players’ and coaches’ salaries that will go into effect June 1st.

“We have made cuts everywhere we could, and the last resort is to implement cuts to salaries. The alternative if we don’t make the pay cuts is that the club could go bankrupt later in the season, and that’s not an alternative for the club,” said Per Iversen, manager of Roa Fotball Elite (RFE).

The financial problems Roa is facing is in stark contrast to the success that they have had on the field this season, as they are currently leading the Norwegian Toppserien with 15 points and a 5-0 record this season, outscoring their opponents 28-2. Arna Bjornar is in second place with 13 points, while the gold medalists from 2010, Stabaek, sit in third place with 11 points after five games.