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Hammarby IF

Hammarby IF is a football (soccer) club from Sweden.

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About Hammarby IF

Hammarby Fotboll is a Swedish Football (soccer) based in Johanneshov - just south of Södermalm, the southernmost district of Stockholm City Centre. In Sweden, the club is often referred to by its nickname Bajen (a short form of a mock-English pronunciation of "Hammarby").

Formed in 1889 as Hammarby Roddförening (eng: Hammarby Boat Club), in 1897 the name was changed to Hammarby Idrottsförening (Hammarby IF) as many of the club's athlethes were now engaging in more sports than just rowing. In 2001, the A-team, B-team and the J-teams were separated from the youth teams and the club is referred to as Hammarby Fotboll.

The team won their first and so far only Allsvenskan title in 2001 in Swedish football.

Owing to its geographical location in a formerly less affluent district of Stockholm, Hammarby has historically been regarded as a club with a mainly working-class fan base.

The club is by 49% owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group and by 51% Hammarby IF FF. The club is affiliated to the Stockholms Fotbollförbund.

The club controls one affiliated team called Hammarby Talang FF, which currently is playing in Swedish football Division 1, the third tier in Sweden.

Italian sportswear company Kappa (company) is the current kit manufacturer for Hammarby, after changing from Nike, Inc. in the year end of 2010.
Hammarby also holds major sponsorship deals with lending institution Folkia and sporting goods retailer Intersport. Since 2010, soft drink brand Pepsi is the club's main shirt sponsor.

History


The early years

The football section was started in 1915 when the football club merged with Klara SK. It is from these times that the green/white colors stems, in 1918 Hammarby merged with Johanneshovs IF and there gained their black/yellow colours they used until recently. Hammarby's early football successes were not great – however, the club had a short strong period in the early 20s, going all the way to the finals in the Svenska Mästerskapet 1922, but losing out to GAIS, and qualifying to the first Allsvenskan played in 1924.

After that the club spent a long time as a top team of the second highest division, called Division 2 at the time. In 1936/1937 they won Div. 2 for the first time, but lost the playoff match then required to be promoted to the Allsvenskan. Also in 1937/1938 they won, only to again losing the playoff match. In the next season, which became their third win in a row, they finally managed to qualify for the Allsvenskan for the second time ever. However, they finished up last and the next six years they finished in the top four, but then followed some tough years for Bajen. In the 1947/1948 season, Hammarby finished on a tenth and last place in Division 2, and because of a reformation in the league system, were directly relegated to Division 4.

A period of yo-yoing

Not until 1950/1951 were Hammarby back in the second highest league, but just four years later, in 1954/1955, the club played in the highest league for the third time. The team finished sixth and managed to stay in the highest league for the first time. This marked a new period for Hammarby – one of Yo-yo club. Hammarby went up and down between the highest and the second highest league seven times until 1970. During this time, the arguably most famous Hammarby player ever, Nacka Skoglund played in the team. In 1950 he was controversially sold to local rivals AIK Fotboll because of Hammarby's poor economy, and then went on to play professional football in Italy for a few years. However, in 1964 he returned to Sweden in Hammarby and it was a comeback that would be classic – after three minutes in his first comeback match, he bended a corner kick directly in to the goal, a goal which has been called the most classic Hammarby goal of all time, and that is depicted on the Nackas Hörna statue.

Stable Allsvenskan years

The 1970 season began terribly. At this time, the league had changed to being played over one year with a break in the summer, thus breaking the league in a spring part, and an autumn part. In the spring part, Hammarby had only gained 3 points and were last team in the league, and not much hope was put into the team. However, during the autumn, Hammarby played fantastic. Some of Bajen's biggest stars played in the team at this time, including Kenta Olsson and Ronnie Hellström, and with good help by a crowd that had introduced something completely new to Swedish football this year – Supporter songs – the team outperformed themselves, went through the autumn half undefeated and finished in Hammarby's best position yet, fifth place.

This marked the beginning of another period of Hammarby, a period of being a stable Allsvenskan team. In the 1970s the reputation of Hammarby's supporters as some of the most dedicated in Sweden was born, as they throughout the 70s had attracted some of the biggest crowds in Sweden, despite not managing to repeat or outperform their fifth place from 1970. In 1978 Hammarby changed from the black-yellow to the new-old Green/White colours. In 1982 a new system was introduced in Swedish football – the top 8 teams in the Allsvenskan would play playoffs to decide the Swedish champions. Hammarby immediately aimed for the top 8, and their reputation as a home-strong team was not weakened – during the entire season, Bajen did not lose one home game. At the end of the season, Hammarby had finished Runner-ups, much better than anything they had achieved before, after winners IFK Göteborg, which Bajen beat in the very last round.

The new system created a chance for Hammarby to take revenge, and after easily defeating Örgryte in the quarter-finals, and, after a bit of trouble, defeating Elfsborg in the semi-final, Hammarby was in the final against IFK Göteborg. In the first away match, Hammarby won 2-1 and Söderstadion sold out record-fast and everything was in place for a party. However, IFK dominated the match and won 3-1, but Hammarby had still made a season much better than all before, especially considering IFK Göteborg later went on to win the UEFA Cup, as the first, and so far only, Swedish team to do so. In the following year, 1983, Hammarby continued to play strongly, finishing fifth in the highest league and qualifying to the playoffs, however losing the derby versus AIK. In the Svenska Cupen, Hammarby for the first time made the finals, where they again lost against the IFK "ghost-team". However, since IFK qualified for the UEFA Cup that year, Hammarby qualified for the Cup-Winners Cup, their first major international competition, and they lost to Finnish FC Haka in the second round. Hammarby 80s were consistently strong, finishing top 6 every year between 1981 and 1987 and having some of the biggest fan crowds for the time (rather small compared to today).

Tough nineties, revival and current downfall


In 1988, Bajen's 18-year streak in the highest league were ended as they finished last, and the 90s would prove troublesome for Hammarby. Although they immediately qualified for the Allsvenskan again, they finished last and would not visit it again until 1994. In 1998 Hammarby became a stable Allsvenskan team again. That very year they were close to securing their first champion title, leading long parts of the season, but fell through in the last 5-6 rounds and in the end finished third, their second best place ever. Instead, that would wait until 2001. Prior to the 2001 season, Hammarby had problems. They had financially tough times and many experts saw their team as weak and one journalist even went as far as guessing Hammarby for the last spot. However, Hammarby early took the lead and kept it all the way until the match against Örgryte match in the second last round. Bajen won the match 3-2 and thus secured the gold, leading to a pitch invasion by euphoric Hammarby fans, and latter to 50.000-70.000 fans gathering on Södermalm and Medborgarplatsen to celebrate the gold after the last game. Celebrations of this size was before this unheard of in Sweden on club level, with the only equivalent being the Swedish national football and Team handball teams.

Trainer Sören Cratz, which led the team to the gold that season, got the news that his expiring contract would not be extended halfway through the season, which led to the strange situation that he won the gold in his second last match. The reason for not extending his contract was due to a motion passed on board level earlier that year which said that Hammarby should play a positive, attacking and fun football, something the board did not think that Cratz did. A proof of how big he became in the eyes of Hammarby fans is proved in the following season, 2002, when he led Swedish competing team Helsingborgs IF and, following a match against Hammarby, were cheered upon and praised by the Hammarby fans after the match had finished. Because of this, he was fired as Helsingborg's trainer. The following years were perhaps the most successful in Hammarby's history, as they finished runner-ups in 2003 after winning team Djurgårdens IF Fotboll, led during a majority of the season in 2004 (finished sixth in the end), finished fourth in 2005 and led halfway through the series but finished third in 2006.

In 2007, Bajen finished on the sixth place, and didn't qualify for any European cups. 2008, Hammarby finished ninth after a poor season with a lots of ups and downs.
The season of 2009 was a major catastrophe both in Allsvenskan but also problems in the board and an economic crisis. Hammarby finished on the sixteenth place, last, and was relegated to Superettan.

Achievements

Domestic

- Swedish football champions
- - Winners (1): 2001

League

- Allsvenskan:
- - Winners (1): 2001
- - Runners-up (2): 1982, 2003
- Division 1 Norra:
- - Winners (3): 1989, 1993, 1997
- - Runners-up (1): 1996
- Division 1 Östra:
- - Winners (1): 1991

Cups

- Svenska Cupen:
- - Runners-up (3): 1977, 1983, 2010
- Svenska Mästerskapet:
- - Runners-up (1): 1922

European

- UEFA Intertoto Cup:
- - Winners (1): 2007

Season to season

- League restructuring in 2006 resulted in a new division being created at Tier 3 and subsequent divisions dropping a level.
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Staff

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Footnotes




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