Saturday, May 24, 2014

Relegated clubs were in similar position – Randers Freja ended last, quite behind everybody else with measly 16 points.
Very weak season, but was the next to be similar?
Perhaps financing was an issue – they also displayed different sponsors on their shirts, although not as many as Skovbakken: only 4. An old club, but not very successful – they won the Cup three times and that was all, but their victories were fairly recent: 1967,1968, and 1973. Now going down – a typically unpredictable Danish clubs. Every season appeared to be pretty by itself, unrelated to even to recent past and not necessarily forcasting the future. Down for the moment, distinguishing themselves with the leakiest defence in the league – they received 88 goals. The next worst ended with 59.
Koge Boldclub finished 15th with 21 points.
Another up and down, although little known club... not much of a fighter this year, but they were Danish champions in 1975. So quickly fate changed in Denmark – no consistency at all.
By the look of them, relatively better off club: only two sponsors. A female masseur – something extremely unusual in the 1970s when football was entirely male from bottom to top. But Scandinavia was different – more relaxed, or may be because the game was not so fanatical as in the rest of the world.
14th were Frederikshavn fI. They also ended with 21 points, but better goal-difference than Koge. No comfort in that – they were still 3 points short of a safe spot.
Now, Frederikshavn forenede Idrætsklubber (also known as FfI or Frederikshavn fI) were what could pass for a really modest Danish club. They rarely played in First Division – a total of 5 season scattered in the 1960s and the 1970s. Unlikely member of the top league and unlikely coming back too.
And also typical of the Danish predicament: 7 sponsors tried to keep the club afloat. Watching Danish teams perhaps was a nighmare – every player seemed to be dressed in kit hardly matching anybody else's on the pitch. It did not look like advertising, but rather like donation from friendly firms.
The rest of the league was more or less equal – no strong favourites and no big internal divisions. Perhaps Frem (Coppenhagen) were a bit low on their luck – they finished 10th – but was it a decline or just temporary weak seasons was impoosible to tell. OB Odense, AGF Aarhus, and Esbjerg fB fought for thrid and second place, eventually losing their edge during the season and all finishing quite behind the champions. OB Odense finished 4th with 38 points – may be unlucky, may be a bit weaker than the others.

With 39 points AGF Aarhus got bronze. Much better than their city rivals Skovbakken and one of historically successful Danish clubs, but the 1970s were not their time – nothing to brag about so far. Perhaps professionalism was good for them – they seemingly improved this year, yet it remained to be seen was it just a lucky season or something more consistent.
If adds could be any reliable indicaction, top spot depended on ability to attract sponsors: unlike the weaklings above, AGF had only one sponsor.
Second, with 40 points, finished Esbjerg forenede Boldklubber – or Esbjerg fB.
Their birthdate is a bit misleading – 1924 is actually the year when two local rivals merged into the Esbjerg fB. One of the original clubs was founded in 1898, the other in 1911. The new amalgamation was ambitious project, or so the club historians say. Esbjerg's golden years were in the 1960s, when they won 4 titles and one cup. All ended in 1965, but a second good spell started in mid-70s: they won the Cup in 1975 and finished 2nd in 1978. May be better days laid ahead?
The ever-present 'may be'... based on single sponsor and the presense of the national team goalkeeper Ole Kjaer. And may be Berthelsen... may be, may be, may be... on the negative side: they were second, but not a contender even when strong.
No 'may be' about the champions as such: at the end of the season, they appeared really dominant, finishing 4 points away from Esbjerg. The name was also familiar – Vejle BK.
Europeans were familiar with the name in the 1970s and it looked like to be 'the big Danish club', but this was misconception. The club is old, indeed, but not a force until 1970. The decade was the most succesful period in the club's history – and also the most successful Danish club at the time, winning 4 titles, including 1978. Allan Simonsen played for them before going to Borussia (Moenchengladbach) and big fame. More or less, Vejle were consistent and this very season was one of their best ever: they reached the 1/4 finals in the 1977-78 European Cup Winners Cup.
Champions again, but how trully solid was the squad? No new Simonsen there... not even a new Ulrich Le Fevre... Well, judging champions would not do – they won, others did not.