Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another enigmatic country – Sweden. Few, if any, news. Well respected national team, modest club football, better known to specialists than to the general public outside Sweden. Swedish players were known largely when they played abroad and seemingly the best were already there – in West Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc. 1977 was quiet year in a way – no exciting new name made headlines abroad. May be Swedish talent was coming to end? May be not, for Swedish clubs were always modest and the country's strength was based on the national team. Club football, at least to an outsider, was associated with Malmo FF. It was there great decade indeed. Which is not the whole Swedish football of course. The championship unfolded its own drama: down there was the struggle to remain in top flight. More or less, it was a battle for escaping second to last place – IFK Sundsvall lost it, finishing 13th and relegated.

Not much to say about IFK Sundsvall – modest club even by Swedish standards and quite expected candidates for relegation. They finished 8 points above the 14th club, but so what... not enough for survival.

Dead last and hopelessly so, for they managed to collect only 12 points, was a curious club: last place in First Division was their biggest success ever.

Standing from left: Coach "Söla", Tomas Månsson, Lasse Richt, Ruben Svensson, Ronny Larsson, Anders Wickman, Christer Johansson, lagl. KJ Månsson.

Bottom: "Gatta" Svensson, Peter Lindholm, Robban Jonsson, Pe-Ge Nordahl, Uffe Spångberg, Lasse Grönqvist ,"Lillen" Svensson

Unrecognizable, right? This is BK Derby from Linkoping. Old club, but normally playing down in the lower divisions. In 1976 they won promotion and joined First Division for 1977 season. BK Derby never played that high before, but they were no match for the rest of the league. They lost 17 out of total 26 championship matches. They scored the least goals in the league and their defense was also unmatched: it was the worst. Down they went, never to return again. To this day 1977 remains the only season BK Derby played in First Division, thus, 1977 is their best year ever... Funny thing, the football.