The Swedish champions Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC will not be competing in the Damallsvenskan next season as the first team will be dissolved, Göteborgsposten reports.
The decision was made on the 17th of December and it was made public on Tuesday morning after a meeting had been held with players and staff, taking everyone by surprise. The team had won the league only a few months earlier and had been crowned champions on the 7th of November. They had also just finished a Champions League run, making it to the round of 32 before getting kicked out by Manchester City.
“Kopparberg is terminating its professional establishment. We will not be playing in Damallsvenskan 2021,” chairman Peter Bronsman told the newspaper.
“In 2003 we got a mission from Göran Johansson and Frank Andersson, or you can say the politics in Gothenburg, about starting up a bid on women’s football in Gothenburg - running it like the big men’s clubs in the city. They thought we could do it.
“17 years later all teams, IFK Göteborg, BK Häcken, Öis, and now also Gais with their girl’s team, started a women’s team in Gothenburg. We’ve fulfilled our promise. We’ve created a lot of role models. We’ve gotten a lot of people to play football and finished it off with a championship gold”, Bronsman continued.
"It's not compatible with 2021 to run a professional women's team," Bronsman added via Fotbollskanalen.
Can't match international efforts
A press release on the club's website attempts to explain the matter further:
“Internationally, women’s football has developed massively in Europe in the last couple of years. Big men’s teams like Lyon, PSG, Bayern München, Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Juventus amongst others have realised the potential of women’s football, they’re putting in the effort and they’ve given women’s football resources that we can’t match.”
“We’ve created a big interest for women’s football in Gothenburg and showed that it’s possible to establish a team at the top, even win a championship, as long as you’ve got clear goals creating challenges and motivation. This is something the professional clubs in Gothenburg have to continue now. If they do so, we’re convinced that women’s football in Gothenburg will quickly take new steps forward.”
Leaves players clubless
This leaves no fewer than nine Swedish national team players without a club ahead of the Olympics next year, where Sweden will be competing. Players like Stina Blackstenius, Elin Rubensson, Jennifer Falk and Filippa Angeldahl are at the moment all without a team going into the new year. On top of that, only days before the decision was made, the club acquired Johanna Rytting Kaneryd from rivals FC Rosengård.
“We heard about this an hour ago. We had a telephone meeting with the whole squad and this was a shock for all of us. We were not aware that this was what it was going to be about,” Rubensson, key player in the team, said to Göteborgsposten.