December 31, 2008: December Round-Up:
December has been a rather quiet month, but the main news this last month has been the economic situation that seems to be hurting at many clubs. – Some blame the global economic situation for their problems, but the truth is probably more that many clubs have just been spending too much money on players during the last years. But we’ll start the December roundup with some news on the Cup final.
The Football Association has announced that the Cup final will again be played on the national day, Ólavsøka, 29 July. That was the tradition from 2001 to 2005, but that was later changed, mainly because Faroese teams often participated in various European Cups around that date.
But as UEFA has now changed its calendar, so that the first two qualifying rounds in the Champions League and the new Europa League will be played prior to 29 July, the national day is again available for the Cup final, Løgmanssteypið (“the prime minister´s cup”).
The advantage of playing the final on the national day is that a large part of the Faroese population gathers in Tórshavn that day which again leads to bigger crowds for the cup final.
The cup will still be played on the artificial grass in Gundadalur. From 2000 to 2005, the final was played on real grass on Tórsvøllur Stadium, but after many boring finals with poor play, the decision was taken to move the final to the artificial grass again as the lack of experience for most players in playing on real grass was given as reason for the often low-quality finals that had been played in Tórsvøllur. It was a right decision to make!
The Football Association says that 2009 is a trial year and that an evaluation will be made right after the final whether to continue playing the final on the national day or not.
The evaluation process will be simple: “How much money did we make?” the football association will ask…
Last night, the Football Association’s president, Høgni í Stórustovu said that they are working hard on finding the new coach for the national team. He hoped he could announce the name in January; on 2 February the latest.
He also revealed that they just recently had had a meeting in Copenhagen with a candidate, so this could suggest that it will become another Dane that will be in charge of the Faroe Islands again. In case, this will then be the 3rd Dane, as Allan Simonsen was coach from 1993-2001 and Henrik Larsen from 2002-2005. But of course, it’s very possible they would still have the meeting in Copenhagen even if it was not a Dane they were having talks with. It could just be the most convenient place for both parties to meet.
About 3 persons are on the F.A.’s shortlist.
The F.A.’s president also said that they wanted a “whole-package-coach”, so to speak, i.e. a person that will be in charge of developing Faroese football as a whole and not just taking care of the senior team, but also taking part in developing youngsters.
The F.A’s. president has earlier hinted that they are prepared to spend more money on a capacity coach than they previously have been willing to.
New Club: Ravnur FC
A few men in the Island of Eysturoy have founded a new football club with the name Ravnur FC (ravnur means raven in English).
The club is to have its base in the town Runavík (where they already have NSÍ; last season´s champions). But the founders say that the club in not intended for any particularly town in Eysturoy, but is intended to be for all people on the Island. However, there already are 6 other clubs on the Island of Eysturoy: B68, ÍF, NSÍ, Skála, Víkingur and also EB/Streymur (which is based on several villages in both Eysturoy and Streymoy), so it’s difficult to see how there could be room for yet another one.
They intend to have only one team in the club so they can concentrate 100% on only that team, and they are not going to have any youth division.
But so far, the club has no players and has not found a home ground either. The Football Association has not yet approved the club, but the founders expect the F.A. to approve the club in February. If they can field a team when the season starts, then they will start in the 3rd division.
The founders say they are dead serious about their project and that their aim is to move up to the Formula Division soon.
Although this sounds like an April fool’s story, it’s not. However, don´t expect Ravnur FC to be a force in Faroese football anytime soon – if ever! Shall we be polite and give them 5 years before they have disappeared again?
The Tórshavn based club Undri FF who last season played in the 3rd division, has been promoted to the 2nd division. This has happened because Skála’s 2nd team, who is supposed to play in the 2nd division, has asked the F.A. if they could voluntarily be relegated to the 3rd. division. The F.A. said yes. Undri FF will therefore replace Skála, even if Undri FF didn´t qualify for it.
Undri FF was founded in 2006, but has no youth division. Don´t expect them to be competing in the top flight anytime soon (no offense meant:-).
It attracted attention when B36 Tórshavn earlier in the month revealed that they were on the verge of bankruptcy. However, B36-chairman Kristian á Neystabø also stated he was sure that other clubs are in a worse situation than B36. But he also expected that B36 somehow would weather the storm.
Just a few days later, KÍ Klaksvík announced that they had to terminate the contract with Rógvi Jacobsen because they don´t have the money to pay him. The contract was supposed to run to the end of the 2010 season.
Skála have already some time ago announced that their club will strictly be run as an amateur’s club in the future as their economy doesn´t allow paying for players.A week ago, the Football Association revealed that they had been keeping an eye on two Formula Division clubs during 2008 because of their frail economy. The F.A. didn´t reveal who the two clubs were, however.
Some clubs blame the global economic situation for their own weak economy, but the truth is more that the clubs have been paying far too high wages for many of their players. It has just been a question of time until the economy would collapse at many clubs.
In many cases the wages have been so high that Faroese players have turned down offers from 1st division clubs in Denmark because the Danish clubs couldn´t match the salary the Faroese clubs were offering. This has again hurt the development of Faroese players, as they therefore have stayed at home rather than joining the Danish 1st division which is still on a higher level than the Faroese Formula Division.
We’ll end this update with some player/transfer news. Maybe it’s because of the economic situation, but there hasn´t been much movement in the transfer market in December.
Goalkeeper Meinhardt Joensen who was drafted from KÍ Klaksvík ahead of last season to replace Jákup Mikkelsen who went the opposite way – to KÍ – has joined NSÍ Runavík. This means that Tróndur Vatnhamar will be back in the B36 goal. Tróndur was between the sticks when B36 won the title in 2001, but later changed to HB where he mostly was reserve goalkeeper. He returned to B36 midway through last season after a row with HB after he lost his place in the goal which he had occupied for the injured Marcin Dawid.
B68 have secured the services of strong defender Pól Jóhannus Justinussen. Pól Jóhannus arrived on loan from NSÍ in the summer, where he had been a rare starter. Pól Jóhannus was under contratct with NSÍ for next season also, but he has now been released from that contract and has instead signed for B68.
We are not quite finished with relegated B71 yet. B71 have signed Skála’s Serbian goalkeeper Predrag Markovic. Markovic has been the shotstopper at Skála for the last two seasons. Before that he was 2 years at TB Tvøroyri in the 1st division.
34 year old EB/Streymur captain Egil á Bø has announced that he will continue for another season. The central defender remarkably got his debut on the national team in the summer, aged 34.
As mentioned above, KÍ have released striker Rógvi Jacobsen from his contract because they simply can´t afford to pay the bills, they say. What the future holds for Rógvi is still unclear, but he says clubs have been in contact. Whether they are Faroese or foreign, he didn´t reveal.
Midfielder Símun Joensen, who stooped midway through the season because of injuries, has been training with KÍ in the winter, but as he is at sea, his football future is a bit unclear. But he expects to be ready to turn out for KÍ from March and some weeks into the season.
KÍ have released all of their foreign players and will for a great part concentrate on their own material and plan to build a new team based on youngsters with the future in mind.
KÍ have already made plans to play 3 training matches in February; two against ÍF Fuglafjørður and one against EB/Streymur.
It had been unclear for a long time what the future would be for last season´s goalkeeper, 22-year- old Tórður Thomsen. Now NSÍ have signed goalkeeper Meinhardt Joensen from B36 Tórshavn, where he was in excellent shape last season. It’s unclear what the future is for Tórður Thomsen. He might move to Denmark.
From the other clubs there is no news.
Maybe the inactiveness in the transfer market is because the transfer window is actually not open at the moment. Last month the football association announced that the transfer window would open on the 2nd of January, but as late as today, the F.A. has announced that the opening of the transfer window has been delayed until the 31st of January. – This doesn´t make it easier to run a football club, of course.
However, although the transfer window is officially closed, this will not stop deals being made. Maybe they will just be announced when the transfer window is officially open. However, the hurting economy is undoubtedly a major reason for the quiet December.
Well, that´s it for 2008. Happy new year :-)
See you all in 2009!
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