Swedish women’s champions Kopparbergs / Goteborg will cease first-team operations in 2021, just months after winning the Damallsvenskan for the first time.
Goteborg will keep the junior teams down to the Under-19 level, but the first team will no longer be and the Kopparbergs brewery, known internationally for its cider, is no longer investing.
Kopparbergs’ investment first happened in 2003, which led to a rebranding of the club soon after and establishing it as one of Sweden’s top women’s teams.
Former legendary USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo played for the club in the 2004 season, while two-time World Cup-winning Christen Press scored nearly one goal per game in 2012, and 2019 World Cup winner Emily Sonnett also spent the second half of the 2020 season with the club.
Swedish legend Lotta Schelin was in Goteborg before Kopparbergs joined the party and remained there for several years until she was poached by the emerging French giants of Lyon. Other current Swedish internationals like Stina Blackstenius and Elin Rubensson still remain, with the sudden shutdown of the first team that is sure to create a rush to sign a number of talented players.
The decision, which was made almost two weeks ago on December 17 before the news went public, appears to have been quite sudden. The club announced the signing of midfielder Johanna Rytting Kaneryd from national rival Rosengard three days earlier, as there appeared to be general optimism for 2021 in posts on the club’s website.
Instead, chairman Peter Bronsman told local publication Goteborgs-Posten it was too difficult to keep going financially and called on Sweden’s biggest men’s clubs to take over.
Although there was talk of a merger a few years ago, Kopparbergs / Goteborg are completely independent from the famous men’s club IFK Goteborg, who have since created their own women’s team. The hope is that all local men’s clubs with newer women’s teams – including Hacken, Ois and Gais – will fill the void left after arriving in Damallsvenskan from the lower leagues.
“Now that the other Gothenburg men’s teams are also opening up activities for girls, we think they should take over,” said Bronsman.
“Of course the Swedish men’s teams will follow the trend that continues in Europe. A women’s team won’t stand a chance otherwise, ”he added, referring to the new women’s teams in clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid and the general acceleration of wider development.
“Our basic idea would have been to invest in young players. Each club must have male and female teams. You will not only have women’s teams in 2021. “
Bronsman’s main concerns appear to be that Kopparbergs / Goteborg had done all they could in an ever-changing environment and that last season’s Swedish title was ultimately the perfect way for the club to step down.
“Currently, we have 17 players who won the Damallsvenskan, they finished positively by winning and were role models for the girls. We don’t think we can give them this opportunity to win in Europe, ”he explained.
“I feel like I made a decision which is sad at the moment, but just the right decision to develop women’s football. We are becoming redundant. It’s sad, but true. The first priority will be that the players get new clubs. They will probably develop even more in other clubs.
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