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Brøndby IF

Brøndby IF is a football (soccer) club from Denmark.

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About Brøndby IF

Brøndby IF is a Denmark professional football (soccer) club based in the town of Brøndby, on the western outskirts of Copenhagen. The club is also known as Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening, or Brøndby and BIF for short. The club, founded in 1964 as a merger between two local Brøndby clubs, has won 10 national Danish football championship titles and five national Danish Cups, since the club joined the Danish top-flight football league in 1981.

Since the founding of fellow Copenhagen club F.C. Copenhagen in 1992, the two clubs have had a fierce rivalry, and the so-called "New Firm (Denmark)" games between the two sides attract the biggest crowds in Football in Denmark. With F.C. Copenhagen, Brøndby has consistently formed a duo which have won eleven of the last sixteen Danish Superliga championships. From 1985 to the season 2007/08, Brøndby IF won a medal every year, except from 1992, 2007 and 2008, and from 1995 to 2006, the club did not finish below second spot in the league. Brøndby IF are currently taking part in the Danish Superliga 2008-09 tournament.

History

Brøndby IF started out in 1964 as an amateur club in the 6th of the 11 Danish leagues, the Serie 1, where they finished their two first seasons in fourth place. Among the players of the early years was team captain Per Bjerregaard, a doctor who had moved to Copenhagen from Jutland. In 1967, the club hired coach Leif Andersen who instantly secured promotion to Sjællandsserien (the Zealand (Denmark) series). After a few mediocre years a new coach John Sinding was brought in, and the club won promotion to Danmarksserien (the Denmark series).

In 1973 Per Bjerregaard stopped his active career at 27 years of age, and became chairman of Brøndby IF. His first action was to sack coach Sinding. In his place, Brøndby hired former professional and Danish national football team player Finn Laudrup, who took over as head coach, while he still took actively part in the games as a player. Finn Laudrup joined his brother-in-law Ebbe Skovdahl in the Brøndby team, and he brought his two young sons Brian Laudrup and Michael Laudrup with him to the club. Under Finn Laudrup's influence, the playing style was changed to a more attacking strategy, even though Finn Laudrup decided to fully concentrate his efforts as a player after only a year. After winning promotion in 1974, Finn Laudrup left Brøndby in the 3rd Division in 1976 to play for Kjøbenhavns Boldklub in the Danish top-flight league, then named 1st Division, and a year later Michael Laudrup, the brightest talent in Danish football, followed.

Professional football

In 1977 Brøndby moved up into the 2nd Division, and were one of the clubs who quickly adapted to the new times of paid football in the best Danish leagues in 1978. Per Bjerregaard persuaded Finn Laudrup into returning to Brøndby IF in 1981 on a professional contract, and following a season of 85 goals in 30 games, Brøndby won promotion to the top-flight 1st Division under coach Tom Køhlert. Finn Laudrup subsequently ended his career, 36 years old, but in his place, Michael Laudrup would return for the 1982 in Danish football, being one of ten players leaving KB that year.

Brøndby IF won their 1st Division debut match 7-1 over fellow promotion (sports) team Boldklubben 1909, in a game that featured two goals from Michael Laudrup. He was subsequently called up for the Danish national team, and on 15 June 1982 he became the first Brøndby player to win a cap (football) for Denmark. Brøndby finished their first 1st Division season in fourth place with Laudrup the league's third top goal scorer with 15 goals, which would earn him the Danish Player of the Year award. In 1983, Laudrup was sold to Juventus F.C and played its first European match when the club beat Hungary champions Budapest Honvéd FC 4-1 in the 1986 UEFA Champions League. In 1986, Brøndby became the first Danish club of fully professionals when ten players were signed full time, and the club was introduced at the Copenhagen Stock Exchange in 1987.

European success

Throughout the second half of the 1980s the team dominated the league and wouldn't finish lower than a second place until 1992. The team was built around talented Danish players, and from 1987 to 1991 players from Brøndby would win the Danish Player of the Year award every year. The recipients would all form the backbone of the Danish national team which would later win the 1992 European Football Championship (Euro 1992), and was the first goalscorer in the 2-0 Euro 1992 final win John Jensen (1987), national team captain Lars Olsen (1988), the World's Best Goalkeeper 1992 and 1993 award winner Peter Schmeichel (1989), four-time Danish Player of the Year award winner Brian Laudrup (1990) and the second goalscorer of the Euro 1992 final Kim Vilfort (1991). The club became used to winning the national title and turned its attention towards European success.

In 1990 Brøndby hired former Danish national team captain Morten Olsen as coach, and under his reign, the UEFA Cup 1990-91 would become the high point in the short history of the club. Especially the meriting wins over Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Leverkusen from Germany and Russian club Torpedo Moscow saw the many Danish profiles shine, and the club was minutes from qualifying for the final game of the tournament. In the 88th minute of the semi-final, a Rudi Völler goal denied Brøndby the final game of the Cup, in favour of AS Roma. Following the impressive European display by the comparatively small club, important members of the team, including Lars Olsen, top scoring striker Bent Christensen Arensøe and the absolute star Peter Schmeichel, left the club.

The following year, 1992, was the worst year in the club's history as the intended takeover of the Danish bank Interbank went awry. It was expected that European Cup success would boost the Brøndby stock value in order to finance the buy, but as the club was beaten by Dynamo Kyiv in the European Cup 1991-92 qualification, the stocks never reached the value necessary to finalize the deal. It had been arranged for financial backers Hafnia to step in and take over the buy in case Brøndby could not finance it, but as Hafnia went bankrupt, Brøndby were forced to buy Interbank and financial collapse was imminent as club debts amassed to 400 million DKK. A long-term rescue plan was initiated to save the club, but these events influenced the performance of the team and the championship, now called the Danish Superliga, was not won again until Danish Superliga 1995-96.

Rebuilding

The rebuilding of the team was lead by head coach Ebbe Skovdahl, who deployed the team in a Formation (football) 4-4-2. The return to the club of Euro 1992 veterans John "Faxe" Jensen and captain Lars Olsen combined with the emergence of goalkeeper Mogens Krogh and striker Ebbe Sand got the club back on its feet. The rebuilding culminated in the UEFA Cup 1995-96 elimination of the historically most successful English football team, Liverpool F.C., though AS Roma would once again knock Brøndby out. Including that year, Brøndby won three Danish championships in a row, and UEFA Cup 1996-97 saw one of the biggest upsets in Brøndby history, as a 3-1 home defeat to Karlsruher SC was changed to an aggregate win when Brøndby beat the team of 1996 UEFA European Football Championship winner Thomas Häßler 5-0 away in Germany. Most importantly for the club's economy, Brøndby was the first Danish team to qualify for the new format of the European Cup, now called the UEFA Champions League. The Champions League qualification meant six guaranteed matches in a Round-robin tournament with three of the biggest teams of Europe, and when they were paired with FC Barcelona and later finalists Manchester United and Bayern Munich, Brøndby faced very economically attractive games. Despite winning 2-1 over Bayern in the first game of the group play, Brøndby would concede 18 goals in six matches and was eliminated with a single win to their name.

Skovdahl decided to take a stab at coaching at Scottish club Aberdeen F.C. and Brøndby took a more Scandinavian approach, in search of stable success in the European competitions with Norway club Rosenborg BK the role model. The club hired Norwegian manager Åge Hareide in 2000, who proclaimed a shift in line-up to a more attacking Formation (football) 4-3-3. With Hareide came a handful of Scandinavian players of whom especially Sweden national football team player Mattias Jonson would become a fan favourite.

2000 was also the year the club finalized a planned expansion of Brøndby Stadium from a 20,000 to a 29,000 capacity, making it the second largest stadium in Denmark, only trailing the Parken Stadium of F.C. København. At the cost of 250 million DKK, the vast expenditure was seen as a sign that the club was out of its former financial crisis. The building project was finalized in Autumn 2000, and on 22 October, 28,416 spectators saw Brøndby beat Akademisk Boldklub 4-2 in the opening game of the rebuilt stadium.

Hareide's visions of a 4-3-3 system never worked out, and the team soon returned to the well-known 4-4-2 setup. As he slowly lost hold of a 10 point lead to rivals FCK, gained in a great first half of the Danish Superliga 2001-02, Hareide took his leave in spring 2002 before the last games of the season. He was replaced by youth team coach Tom Køhlert who, though reluctant to take the job, gave first team debuts to the top youth team players, most notably Thomas Kahlenberg, who would help the club narrowly secure the championship win on goal difference.

The Michael Laudrup years

For the Danish Superliga 2002-03 Brøndby caused sensation as they had convinced Michael Laudrup to return to manage his childhood club, with John "Faxe" his assistant. In their first season, the 33 man Brøndby team was divided into an A-squad of 23 players for the Superliga and a U-squad consisting mainly of youth players. The coaching duo let several players go in the process, as Laudrup "looked at the names and then assessed, who fits our style of play"; A Formation (football) 4-2-3-1 formation with a short-passing possession game, deploying two wide Winger (sport) Football (soccer). Asbjørn Sennels, one of the newly acquired players under Michael Laudrup, became the 50th Brøndby player, since Laudrup himself in 1982, to represent his respective national team, when he played for Denmark in April 2004.

Michael Laudrup's greatest international triumph came in Brøndby's 100th European cup game, when Schalke 04 was eliminated on aggregate in the UEFA Cup 2003-04. Brøndby then faced Laudrup's former high-profile club FC Barcelona, and was eliminated from the tournament. In the domestic competitions, winning The Double in the 2004-05 in Danish football is the most recent highlight for Brøndby. In May 2006, Laudrup announced that he, along with John "Faxe", did not accept the one-year contract extension offered by the club, and following three titles in four seasons, the pair left the club in June.

The years of crisis

The two were replaced by Netherlands coach René Meulensteen who had a rough start in charge of the first team. Together with newly appointed Anders Bjerregaard - son of director Per Bjerregaard - René Meulensteen bought a number of questionable players in the final days of the summer transfer window. In the first games the new coach struggled with injuries among the key players and the team had problems living up to the expectations.

René Meulensteen resigned after six months, leaving Brøndby at a 7th place halfway through the Danish Superliga 2006-07. The official explanation for his departure was that his family couldn't settle in Denmark, but soon after, the former coach revealed major infrastructural problems in the club's organization calling the club "a very sick patient requiring immediate attention" as well as cliques inside the first team. In order to solve the clique problems he had gone to director Per Bjerregaard to fire three key players - Marcus Lantz, Thomas Rytter and one club man Per Nielsen in order to reestablish the balance in the first team squad. A demand Danish football experts later described as the quickest way of getting sacked.

Tom Køhlert took the managerial reins once more, this time as a permanent solution on a 2½-year contract.

After losing 2-4 to AC Horsens on 26 August, their 23rd continuous away game without a victory, the team was greeted by approximately 200 furious fans and cries like "die mercenaries" and "we are Brøndby, who are you?" on their return to Copenhagen.

On 31 August 2007, Per Bjerregaard announced that he resigned from the director seat, and instead took over as chairman of the board in Brøndby IF. Shortly after his resignation, Peter Schmeichel announced that he was ready to buy Brøndby and become the director. The announcement divided the fans. Some praised the former player for trying to save the club, while others criticized him for bringing investor Aldo Petersen along who is a keen supporter and former stockholder of rivals FC Copenhagen. However, his offer was rejected, which by financial experts was rated as a good decision.

On 1 April 2008, Hermann Haraldsson was appointed to the vacant position.

A new beginning?

Following a disappointing beginning of the Danish Superliga 2007-08 with only 5 points in seven matches, manager Tom Køhlert made it clear in August 2007 that the Danish Cup now had a higher priority for the club. The change of priorities was successful, and Brøndby won their first domestic title in almost three years on 1 May 2008 when Esbjerg fB were beaten 3-2 in the final of the Danish Cup 2007-08.

Soon after manager Tom Køhlert declared his job done and the club chairman Per Bjerregaard searched for a new manager to be in charge of the first team. On 16 June 2008 the club announced the appointment of former player and head coach of AC Horsens Kent Nielsen. Kent Nielsen will take charge of the first team on 1 January 2009. Until then present coach Tom Køhlert stays in charge.

On 1 July 2008, KasiGroup replaced Codan as the main sponsor of the club. The partnership involved a cooperation with UNICEF, making Brøndby the second club in Europe next to fc barcelona to wear the logo of UNICEF on their shirts. Furthermore KasiGroup entered a sponsorship for the stadium and promised substantial funds for taking the player squad to the next level. During the 2008 summer break this contributed to Brøndby transferring 5 new players with national team experience in order to strengthen the team.

On the business side, Brøndby recently launched the beginning for a range of new activities by acquiring Brøndby-Hallen, a nearby sports dome, as well as putting forward plans for outdoor concerts and a medical centre. In addition the media focus on Brøndby has changed dramatically with the new communication strategy of Hermann Haraldsson.

Stadium

Brøndby have always played their games at Brøndby Stadium. A part of the merging of Brøndbyvester IF and Brøndbyøster IF was a promise by the Brøndby municipality mayor to build a ground, and in 1965 it was ready for the club to play at. Through the first years in the secondary Danish leagues, the stadium was little more than a grass field with an Athletics (track and field) track circling the field of play. It wasn't until 1978 that the main stand was built, sporting a capacity of 1,200 seated spectators. As newly promoted to the best Danish league in 1982, concrete terraces opposite the main stand were constructed, allowing for a crowd of 5,000 additional people. Following the first years of success in the highest Danish league, the athletic track was discarded and a further 2,000 seats were installed on top of the concrete stands from 1989 to 1990.

When Brøndby played games against other successful European teams in the 1990-91 UEFA Cup, the then capacity of up to 10,000 spectators was quickly dwarfed by the ticket interest. As the Danish national stadium Idrætsparken in Copenhagen was being rebuilt, the club found no other way to host the games, but to get a dispensation to use scaffolding stands, which boosted the stadium capacity to 18,000 in the semi-final leg of the tournament, a 0-0 draw with AS Roma. Following the European adventure, the club inaugurated its end stands in 1992, allowing for a total of 22,000 spectators.

In May 1998, the club bought Brøndby Stadium from the Brøndby municipality for 23.5 million DKK and immediately spent double that amount to modernize the stadium. When the club qualified for the UEFA Champions League 1998-99, the stadium was still under construction and the games were moved to arch rival F.C. København's Parken stadium. In 2000 all stands were standardized and built to the same height, allowing for crowds of 29,000 at domestic games and 22,000 in the European games, which allow only all-seater crowds. Since then, the stadium has seen a number of lesser or larger infrastructural and technical enhancements, and the February 2004 European game against FC Barcelona was played in front of a 26,031 man crowd.

Organization

Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening was founded on 3 December 1964 as a merger between two small clubs, Brøndbyvester IF from 1909 and Brøndbyøster IF from 1928, and was a broad sports association, including branches in football, team handball, gymnastics and badminton among others. In 1971 the club was split off into clubs for each individual sport, and Brøndby mayor Kjeld Rasmussen became the first chairman of the footballing branch, which retained the name of Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening.

With the introduction of paid football in Denmark by the Danish Football Association in 1978, the club split into an amateur and a professional department. The amateurs consisted of the various youth departments which had been the trademark of the club since the 1964 merger, as well as the numerous volunteers who service every match of the professional club for free. In 1987 the professional department, Brøndby IF Fodbold A/S, was the second football club in the world (with Tottenham Hotspur F.C. being the first) to float its share (finance) on a public stock exchange. The shares were divided in A and B shares of equal value, with only the B shares for sale to the public. Each A share counts for ten votes and each B share counts for a single ownership vote, and the A shares were divided between three groups to prevent hostile takeovers; the volunteer amateur leaders of the club, the main sponsors of the club, and the company Euro Sportsholding, owned by Brøndby IF itself. The A shares accounted for 64% of the votes, and thereby the power in the club.

When the club was on the verge of financial collapse in 1992, the A shares posed as security to the creditors, until the club was saved and the shares were sold for the symbolic amount of 1 DKK to the newly founded Brøndbyernes IF Fodbold Fond, which strives to keep Brøndby IF controlled by the amateur department. The shares are currently divided into 355,000 A and 3,500,000 B shares, with Brøndbyernes IF Fodbold Fond owning 300,000 of the A shares, accounting for 42.6% of the total votes.

Supporters

Brøndby Support is the official fanclub of Brøndby IF. It was founded on 30 September 1987 and has approximately 12000 members. The club is also supported by several other fractions that contributes to what is probably Denmark's and Scandinavia's best home and away crowd, both in their vocal and visual style. Many players from other clubs often picks Brøndby as the place with the best home crowd. Unfortunately the club also has hooligans that since the first 90's continues to scar the club's reputation. Some fans are known for trouble around Denmark, several clubs fear them, and provide more security when their opponent is called Brøndby IF, because they know problems can happen!

Squads and players

More than 300 players have represented Brøndby in the Danish leagues, cups and the European competitions since 1964.

Apart from the main A-squad which plays in the Danish Superliga, Brøndby have a reserve team, the U-squad, which plays in the Danish 2nd Division East under coach Peer F. Hansen, as well as many various youth teams. As only 18 players are allowed in each Superliga match (11 starting players plus seven substitutes) it is common practice to have spare players from the A-squad assist the U-squad in their games.



Out on loan



Staff

Head Coach
- Kent Nielsen (footballer)

Assistant Coach
- Kim Daugaard

Fitness Coach
- Rene Skovdahl

Goalkeeper Coach
- Morten Cramer
- Lars Høgh

Reserves 2008/09








Noted players

Player of the year

Starting from 1980, the club has annually named its player of the year. Players still playing for the club are marked in bold:
- 1980 Brian Chrøis
- 1981 Ole Østergaard
- 1982 Michael Laudrup
- 1983 John Widell
- 1984 Bjarne Jensen
- 1985 Claus Nielsen
- 1986 Ole Madsen (1958 footballer)
- 1987 Lars Olsen
- 1988 Bjarne Jensen (2)
- 1989 Henrik Jensen
- 1990 Peter Schmeichel
- 1991 Kim Vilfort
- 1992 Uche Okechukwu
- 1993 Jes Høgh
- 1994 Ole Bjur
- 1995 Allan Nielsen
- 1996 Søren Colding
- 1997 Ebbe Sand
- 1998 Kim Daugaard
- 1999 Mogens Krogh
- 2000 Dan Anton Johansen
- 2001 Krister Nordin
- 2002 Aurelijus Skarbalius
- 2003 Per Nielsen
- 2004 Martin Retov
- 2005 Johan Elmander
- 2006 Per Nielsen (2)
- 2007 Mark Howard (defender)
- 2008 Thomas Rasmussen
, Norway, Lithuania, Burkina Faso, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Morocco, Iceland, Zambia, Australia, and Gambia have represented their countries. The players are displayed on the "Wall of Honour", according to their year of national team debut. Players still playing for the club are marked in bold:
- 1980s: Michael Laudrup (1982), Ole Madsen (1958 footballer) (1983), Brian Chrøis (1983), Ole Østergaard (1983), Lars Lunde (1983), Kim Christofte (1984), John Helt (1985), Lars Olsen (1986), John Jensen (1986), Claus Nielsen (1986), Kim Vilfort (1987), Per Steffensen (1987), Brian Laudrup (1987), Kent Nielsen (footballer) (1987), Peter Schmeichel (1987), Bjarne Jensen (1988), Jan Bartram (1988), Bent Christensen Arensøe (1989), Per Frimann (1989)
- 1990s: Erik Rasmussen (footballer) (1990), Ushe Okechuckwu (1990), Friday Eliaho (1990), Brian Jensen (footballer) (1991), Frank Pingel (1991), Mogens Krogh (1992), Marc Rieper (1992), Mark Strudal (1993), Jes Høgh (1993), Dan Eggen (1993), Jesper Kristensen (1994), Jens Risager (1994), Bo Hansen (1995), Allan Nielsen (1995), Peter Møller (1996), Ole Bjur (1996), Søren Colding (1996), Auri Skarbalius (1996), Ebbe Sand (1998), Oumar Barro (1999)
- 2000s: Magnus Svensson (footballer) (2000), Mattias Jonson (2000), Peter Madsen (2001), Mads Jørgensen (2001), Morten Wieghorst (2002), Per Nielsen (2002), Jón Rói Jacobsen (2003), Thomas Kahlenberg (2003), Andreas Jakobsson (2003), Karim Zaza (2004), Asbjørn Sennels (2004), Martin Retov (2004), Morten Skoubo (2004), Johan Elmander (2004), Daniel Agger (2005), Hannes Sigurðsson (2006), Martin Ericsson (2006), Chris Katongo (2007), Stefán Gíslason (2007), Samuel Holmén (2008), Thomas Rasmussen (2008), Anders Randrup (2008), David Williams (footballer) (2008), Max von Schlebrügge (2008), Stephan Andersen (2008), Ousman Jallow (2008), Michael Krohn-Dehli (2008), Morten Rasmussen (football striker) (2008)

Managers

Listed according to when they became managers for Brøndby IF (years in parentheses):
- 1960s: Egon Knudsen (1964), Leif Andersen (1967), Ib Jensen (1969)
- 1970s: John Sinding (1970), Mogens Johansen (1972), Finn Laudrup (1973), Kaj Møller (1974), John Sinding (1975), Jørgen Hvidemose (1977)
- 1980s: Tom Køhlert (1980), Ebbe Skovdahl (1986), Birger Peitersen (1987), Ebbe Skovdahl (1988)
- 1990s: Morten Olsen (1990), Ebbe Skovdahl (1992), Tom Køhlert (1999, caretaker manager)
- 2000s: Åge Hareide (2000), Tom Køhlert (2002, caretaker), Michael Laudrup (2002), René Meulensteen (2006), Tom Køhlert (2007), Kent Nielsen (2009)

Achievements

- Danish football champions titles:
- - Winners (10 titles): Danish 1st Division 1985, Danish 1st Division 1987, Danish 1st Division 1988, Danish 1st Division 1990, Danish Superliga 1991, Danish Superliga 1995-96, Danish Superliga 1996-97, Danish Superliga 1997-98, Danish Superliga 2001-02, Danish Superliga 2004-05
- - Runner-up (9 placings): Danish 1st Division 1986, Danish 1st Division 1989, Danish Superliga 1994-95, Danish Superliga 1998-99, Danish Superliga 1999-2000, Danish Superliga 2000-01, Danish Superliga 2002-03, Danish Superliga 2003-04, Danish Superliga 2005-06
- Danish Cup
- - Winners (6 titles): Danish Cup 1988-89, Danish Cup 1993-94, Danish Cup 1997-98, Danish Cup 2002-03, Danish Cup 2004-05, Danish Cup 2007-08
- - Runner-up: Danish Cup 1987-88, Danish Cup 1995-96
- Danish League Cup
- - Winners (2 titles): 2005, 2006
- Danish Super Cup
- - Winners (4 titles): 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002
- UEFA Champions League (6 participations)
- - Quarter-finals: European Cup 1986-87
- - Group stage: UEFA Champions League 1998-99 Group D
- UEFA Cup (12 participations)
- - Semi-finals: UEFA Cup 1990-91
- Royal League (3 participations)
- - Winners: Royal League 2006-07

- 26 seasons in the Danish Superliga
- 4 seasons in the Danish 1st Division
- 3 seasons in the Danish 2nd Division

Records

- Home victory, Danish Superliga: 7-0 vs. Herfølge BK, 11 July 2005
- Away victory, Danish Superliga: 7-0 vs. Esbjerg fB, 26 August 2001
- Home loss, Danish Superliga: 1-6 vs. Esbjerg fB, 14 March 2004
- Away Loss, Danish Superliga: 0-5 vs. FC Midtjylland, 29 July 2007
- Highest attendance, Brøndby Stadium: 31,508 vs. F.C. Copenhagen, 18 June 2003
- Highest average home attendance, season: 18,204, Danish Superliga 2004-05
- Most appearances, European games: 70, Per Nielsen
- Most appearances, total: 556, Bjarne Jensen
- Most goals scored, season, Danish Superliga: 28, Ebbe Sand 1997-98
- Most goals scored, Danish Superliga: 80, Bent Christensen Arensøe
- Most goals scored, European games: 12, Ruben Bagger
- Most goals scored, total: 110, Kim Vilfort




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