Learn more about Brøndby IF
|Full name||Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening|
|Nickname(s)||Drengene fra Vestegnen |
(The boys from the western outskirts)
|Ground||Brøndby Stadium, Brøndby|
|Chairman||Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Ejvind Sandal|
|Manager||Image:Flag of the Netherlands.svg René Meulensteen|
|2005-06||Danish Superliga, 2nd|
Brøndby IF is a Danish 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. Brøndby is the most successful Danish club on the European scene, with a UEFA Cup semi-final the best ever Danish result in the European competitions. Furthermore the club was the first Danish club to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, during the 1998-99 tournament.
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" games between the two sides attract the biggest crowds in Danish football.<ref>Attendance season records at NetSuperligaen.dk, which dates back to the Danish Superliga 1998-99, records the biggest crowd each year has been a derby between F.C. København and Brøndby.</ref> With F.C. Copenhagen, Brøndby has consistently formed a duo which have won eleven of the last sixteen Danish Superliga championships, and from 1995 to 2006, the club has not finished below second spot in the league. Brøndby IF are currently taking part in the Danish Superliga 2006-07 tournament.
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, and who would later play an instrumental part in Brøndby's success. In 1967, the club hired coach Leif Andersen whose emphasis on discipline and physicality instantly secured promotion to Sjællandsserien (the Zealand 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 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 KB 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 succeeded in talking 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 stopped his career, 36 years old, but in his place, Michael Laudrup would return for the 1982 season, being one of ten players leaving KB that year.
Brøndby IF won their 1st Division debut match 7-1 over fellow promoted team B 1909, in a game that featured two goals from Michael Laudrup. He was subsequently called up for the Danish national team, and on June 15 1982 he became the first Brøndby player to win a cap 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. in the then biggest transfer deal in Denmark, giving Brøndby IF the economic foundation to expand further.
After only four years in the top division, Brøndby won their first Danish championship in 1985 and played its first European match when the club beat Hungarian champions Budapest Honvéd FC 4-1 in the 1986 European Cup. 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 Championship (Euro 1992), and was the first goalscorer in the 2-0 Euro 1992 final win John "Faxe" 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 1990-91 UEFA Cup 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 "Turbo" Christensen 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.<ref>(Danish) Henrik H. Brandt, "Brøndby IF: Mirakelkuren", Jyllands-Posten article, June 1, 1997</ref> 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 1996.
The rebuilding of the team was lead by head coach Ebbe Skovdahl, who deployed the team in a 4-4-2 formation. 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 1995-96 UEFA Cup 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 the next year's UEFA Cup 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 Euro 1996 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.<ref>Danish club Aalborg Boldspilklub played in the UEFA Champions League 1995-96 tournament as a result of the bribing scandal of Dynamo Kyiv, thus they did not qualify through the qualification rounds.</ref> The Champions League qualification meant six guaranteed matches in a group stage 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 in Scottish club Aberdeen F.C. and Brøndby took a more Scandinavian approach, in search of stable success in the European competitions with Norwegian club Rosenborg BK the role model.<ref>(Danish) Kurt Lassen and Thorsten Dam, "Brøndby enig med Hareide", Berlingske Tidende article, April 17, 1999</ref> The club hired Norwegian manager Åge Hareide in 2000, who proclaimed a shift in line-up to a more attacking 4-3-3 system. With Hareide came a handful of Scandinavian players of whom especially Swedish national 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.<ref>(Danish) Christian Hüttemeier, "Supertanker på succeskurs", Politiken article, October 22, 2000</ref> The building project was finalized in fall 2000, and on October 22, 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 2001-02 Superliga season, Hareide took his leave in spring 2002 before the last games of the season.<ref>(Danish) Mikael Børsting and Jesper Tornvig Ludvigsen, "FORUDSÅ HAREIDES FALD", B.T. article, April 16, 2002</ref> 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 returning son
For the 2002-03 Superliga season 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"<ref>(Danish) Per Børding, "Halvt hold væk", B.T. article, July 2, 2002</ref>; A 4-2-3-1 formation with a short-passing possession game, deploying two wide wingers. 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 2003-04 UEFA Cup. 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 season 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<ref>Laudrup leaving Brondby, FOX Sports, May 22, 2006</ref>, and following three titles in four seasons, the pair left the club in June.
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 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<ref>(Danish) Christian W. Larsen, "Brøndby får eget stadion", Aktuelt article, May 14, 1998</ref> and immediately spent the double 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-seated 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.
Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening was founded on December 3 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, 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 being the first) to float its shares 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<ref>(Danish) Michael Aae, "A/S FODBOLD ET HOLD TIL 70 MILLIONER", B.T. article, August 18, 1991</ref>, 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<ref>(Danish) Steen Ankerdal, "Fik brøndby for en krone", Ekstra Bladet article, May 7, 1994</ref> 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.<ref>(Danish) Distribution of shares, according to Brondby.com</ref>
 Squads and players
- See also Brøndby IF footballers
More than 300 players have represented Brøndby in the Danish leagues, cups and the European competitions since 1964.
 Current A-squad
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 Tom Køhlert, as well as many various youth teams. The U-squad currently consists of 17 players born in the years 1985 to 1989.<ref>(Danish) U-truppen at Brondby.com</ref> Of these players, four have represented the A-squad in the ongoing 2006-07 season. 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.
- Up to date as of November 6, 2006
 Player of the year
Starting from 1985, the club has annually named its player of the year.<ref>(Danish) Årets Spiller at Brondby.com</ref> Players still playing for the club are marked in bold:
 Wall of Honour
Since Michael Laudrup became the first player to represent Brøndby IF in the Danish national team in June 1982, more than 50 players have donned the national team jersey of their respective countries. Apart from Denmark, players from Nigeria, Norway, Lithuania, Burkina Faso, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Morocco and Iceland have represented their countries. The players are displayed on the "Wall of Honour", according to their year of national team debut.<ref>(Danish) Wall of Honour at Brondby.com</ref> Players still playing for the club are marked in bold:
- 1980s: Michael Laudrup (1982), Ole Madsen (1983), Brian Chrøis (1983), Ole Østergaard (1983), Lars Lunde (1983), Kim Christofte (1984), John Helt (1985), Lars Olsen (1986), John "Faxe" Jensen (1986), Claus Nielsen (1986), Kim Vilfort (1987), Per Steffensen (1987), Brian Laudrup (1987), Kent Nielsen (1987), Peter Schmeichel (1987), Bjarne Jensen (1988), Jan Bartram (1988), Bent Christensen (1989), Per Frimann (1989)
- 1990s: Erik Rasmussen (1990), Ushe Okechuckwu (1990), Friday Eliaho (1990), Brian Jensen (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 (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 Sigurdsson (2006), Martin Ericsson (2006)
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)
- 2000s: Åge Hareide (2000), Tom Køhlert (2002, caretaker), Michael Laudrup (2002), René Meulensteen (2006)
- Danish Football Championship titles:
- Danish Cup
- European Cup and UEFA Champions League<ref>Up until 1991/92, the tournament of the European national club champions was the European Cup; from the 1992/93 season the structure of the competition was changed, and it was renamed the UEFA Champions League.</ref> (6 participations)
- UEFA Cup (12 participations)
- Semi Finals: 1991
- 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: 0-4 vs. Ikast FS, 7 October 1984; 0-4 vs. Aalborg Boldspilklub, 20 April 1992
- Highest attendance, Brøndby Stadium: 31,508 vs. FCK, 18 June 2003
- Highest average home attendance, season: 18,204, 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 "Turbo" Christensen
- Most goals scored, European games: 12, Ruben Bagger
- Most goals scored, total: 110, Kim Vilfort
- (Danish) (1993) Henrik Madsen, "Brøndbys bagmænd" (Brøndby's backers), Børsen Bøger, ISBN 87-7553-403-7
- (Danish) (1997) Kurt Thyboe, "Brøndby forever", Borgen, ISBN 87-21-00678-4
- (Danish) (2001) Jakob Kvist, "Ambassadøren - en bog om Michael Laudrup" (The ambassador - a book about Michael Laudrup), Centrum, ISBN 87-583-1285-4
- (Danish) (2005) Jens Jam Rasmussen and Michael Rachlin, "Slaget om København" (The battle of Copenhagen), People's Press, ISBN 87-91693-55-1
 External links
- Brondby.com (official website)
- UEFA profile
|UEFA Cup 2006/07|
Competing: Ajax | Austria Wien | Auxerre | AZ | Basel | Beşiktaş | Blackburn Rovers | Braga | Celta Vigo | Dinamo Bucharest | Eintracht Frankfurt | Espanyol | Fenerbahçe | Feyenoord | Hapoel Tel Aviv | Heerenveen | Lens | Leverkusen | Liberec | Livorno | Maccabi Haifa | Mladá Boleslav | Nancy | Newcastle United | Odense | Osasuna | Palermo | Panathinaikos | Parma | PSG | Rangers | Rapid Bucureşti | Sevilla | Sparta Prague | Tottenham Hotspur | Wisła | Zulte-Waregem
Eliminated: Achna | Artmedia | Atromitos | Åtvidaberg | Brøndby | Chievo | Chornomorets |Club Brugge | CSKA Sofia | Derry City | Dinamo Zagreb | Grasshoppers | Groningen | Hearts | Hertha Berlin | Iraklis | Kayserispor | Legia | Levadia | Litex | Lokomotiv Moscow | Lokomotiv Sofia | Marseille | Molde | Nacional da Madeira | Partizan | Pasching | Rabotnički | Randers | Red Star | Rubin | Ružomberok | Salzburg | Schalke | Sion | Slavia Prague | Standard Liège | Start | Trabzonspor | Vitória Setúbal | West Ham United | Xanthi | Zaporizhzhya
|Danish 2nd Division West 2006–07|