On the 29th of December 2020, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC announced they were to immediately dissolve their women’s senior side.

The announcement came on the back of the club’s first domestic title win in their 17-year history, last month.  

This means that all players for the club, including nine internationals, have been released from their contracts, leaving them clubless.  

The decision was made by the board on the 17th December, just one day after their 3-0 defeat in the Champions League against Manchester City.

UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

They exited the round of 32 with an overall 5-1 defeat on aggregate.

The side is not attached to a men’s club and teams up to under-19 level will continue to run.

However, the investments from their brewery sponsorship, Kopparbergs, are to be withdrawn.

Who are Göteborg FC?

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC created a women’s team in Gothenburg in 2003. The team was created due to the lack of clubs conducting activities for women, especially at the elite level.

Therefore, it was their plan to create interest in women’s football for young girls, giving them an opportunity to participate in the sport.

Photo credit: PER MONTINI/ Göteborg FC

Since their establishment, they have gone on to be one of the most successful clubs in Sweden.

Some of their achievements included three wins in the Swedish Cup as well as representation in the Champions League.

Some notable players for the club include Manchester United’s Christen Press as well as her former USA teammate Hope Solo.

2016 Rio Olympic Silver Medallists Pauline Hammarlund, Stina Blackstenius and, Elin Rubensson were some of the players told that they had to look for new clubs on the 29th of December.

Closure of the Club

In women’s football, the common trend is that most big clubs have their own women’s football team. This means investments for both men’s and women’s football.

Göteborg stated on their website that they were unable to match the large investments other European clubs have poured into their women’s team.

Some of these teams include Lyon, PSG, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Juventus.

Olympique Lyonnais Women v Juventus Women – UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32: Second Leg. Credit: Filippo Alfero – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Göteborg stated on their club website:

“The trend is that the big teams in Europe have started their own women’s teams.”

 “This has led to the many all-Swedish associations and also the larger men’s teams in Gothenburg establishing women’s activities, with both girls’ and women’s teams.” 

“This is extremely positive.” 

Growth of European football

Throughout Europe, women’s football has seen exceptional growth.

As written in the Financial Times, all six European nations with 100,000 or more registered female footballers, reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 World Cup.

These countries include Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, England and France.

England v Sweden: 3rd Place Match – 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France. Credit: Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In relation to the development of women’s football in Sweden Göteborgstated:

“We have created a great interest in women’s football in Gothenburg and shown that it is possible to establish oneself at the top and even win a Swedish Championship gold, as long as one has a clear goal that creates challenges and motivation.”

“By investing in both women’s and men’s football, it is shown that it is a matter of course that these associations are for everyone, regardless of gender.”

“They also show that they give the girls completely different conditions and that they intend to compete at an international level.”

Chairman Peter Bronsman stated:

“It is of course a sad decision for us to make in the short term, but seen over the long term, it is definitely the right decision to make now.”

Feature image: Credit-Getty Images

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