Last modified on 20 October 2014, at 17:14

AIK Fotboll

This article is about AIK's football department. For other departments of the club, see Allmänna Idrottsklubben.
AIK
Allmänna Idrottsklubben Ishockey Logo.svg
Full name Allmänna Idrottsklubben
Nickname(s) Gnaget
Founded 15 February 1891; 123 years ago (1891-02-15)
1896; 118 years ago (1896) (football department)
Ground Friends Arena
Solna, Stockholm
Ground Capacity 54,000
Chairman Johan Segui
Head coach Andreas Alm
League Allsvenskan
2013 Allsvenskan, 2nd
Current season

AIK, Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɑː.i.ˈkɔː] (LSE0DI2), an abbreviation for Allmänna Idrottsklubben, (literally "The General Sports Club"), is a Swedish football club based at Friends Arena in Solna, a municipality in Stockholm County bordering Stockholm City Centre. The club was formed in 1891 in central Stockholm and the football department was formed in 1896.

League champions in 2009, AIK are currently third in the all-time Allsvenskan table. The club holds the record for being the Swedish club with most seasons in the top flight. AIK reached the quarter-finals of the 1996-97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and qualified for the 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League group stage and the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League group stage. The club is affiliated with the Stockholm Football Association.[1]

HistoryEdit

AIK's first squad in 1900 when they won their first Swedish Championship.

Founded in 1891 by Isidor Behrens in Stockholm, at the downtown address of Biblioteksgatan 8, the club's full name, "Allmänna Idrottsklubben", translates to "The General Sports Club" or "The Public Sports Club". The name was chosen to reflect that the club was open for everyone, and also that athletics, at the time called "allmän idrott" in Swedish,[2] was considered the club's main sport.

Putting football into practice in 1896, AIK were runners-up in the championship only two years later, in 1898. AIK won its first Swedish championship title in 1900, beating Örgryte IS in the final. In 1901, AIK won another title, after a walk-over win against Örgryte IS team II. At the turn of the century, Swedish league football was dominated by Örgryte, who won ten times between the years 1896 and 1909. However, in the period of 1898–1901 AIK won the championship twice and were runners-up three times. In 1899 the team faced Djurgårdens IF for the first time. Djurgården was founded in 1891, the same year as AIK, and therefore the games between these teames are commonly known as the tvillingderbyt (the twin derby), Djurgården is to this day AIK's main rival, and the games attracts huge crowds.

AIK did not participate in the Swedish championships of 1902 and 1903, which meant these were played only with teams from Gothenburg. In 1902, AIK instead competed in "Svenska bollspelsförbundets tävlingsserie", a league competition open only to clubs from Stockholm. AIK competed with two teams in the first year of the competition, finishing fourth and last. As a result, the weaker AIK side was relegated, making the first team the only one from AIK in the highest division. The competition was played until 1909, with AIK winning it in 1908 and 1909, and was replaced by Svenska Serien.

Two years after the start of the "tävlingsserie", 1904, twelve teams participated in the championship, one of them being AIK for the first time since winning it. AIK went through to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by arch rivals Djurgårdens IF. In 1905, AIK went just as far, this time being beaten by IFK Stockholm. AIK competed in the championshiop three times in 1906–1910 without any success, but in 1911 they won the championship for the third time after beating IFK Uppsala in the final.

After that, AIK were eliminated in the semi-finals of 1912 and 1913 but won the championship once again in 1914. In 1915, AIK were again defeated by arch rivals Djurgården in the semi-finals. In 1916, however, AIK came back and defeated future rivals IFK Göteborg in the semi-finals, beating Djurgårdens IF with 3–1 in the final. In 1917, Djurgården mirrored AIK's achievement, winning against Göteborg in the semi-finals and then beating AIK with 3–1 in the final. Another couple of years passed by without any success for AIK, until 1923, when they won their sixth title after beating IFK Eskilstuna in the final.

From the years 1910 to 1924, a championship called "Svenska Serien" was played. AIK didn't win it, but were runners-up a couple of times. The status of this championship status increased in the beginning of the 1920s and it became more important than the Swedish championship.

In 1924, Svenska Serien was replaced by the current highest league, "Allsvenskan", (officially named "Division I"). The first years, the championship were dominated by teams from Gothenburg (GAIS, IFK Göteborg och Örgryte IS) and by Hälsingborgs IF. After some years when AIK finished fourth and fifth and in the middle of the table, AIK won the championship in 1931/32, making it their first Allsvenskan title and their seventh Swedish title.

AIK playing against Milan in 1950

The football of AIK relocated in 1937 from Stockholms Stadion to Råsunda Fotbollsstadion in what became Solna in 1942. This was however only one of the things making the year 1937 a memorable year – AIK won their eighth Swedish title. Olle Zetterlund scored 23 goals during the season, and is to this day the player who have scored the most goals during one season for AIK.

After World War II AIK finished second 1946 and third 1947. However, after these seasons things went downwards for AIK, even though they still attracted big crowds, the 1949–50 season the club had 21,768 a game, a record which would last until the 21st century.

In June 1951 something happened which would be referred to as "det omöjliga" (the impossible), AIK were relegated to Division II. The last game were against Malmö FF, who had gone undefeated for 49 games. AIK beat Malmö 1–0, but would have needed an extra goal to ensure a spot in Allsvenskan. This also meant that Lennart "Nacka" Skoglund left for Inter Milan after having only played 5 games for AIK.

After having won Division II AIK reached allsvenskan the following season. In the middle of the 50's, a new star player came to play for AIK, Kurt "Kurre" Hamrin. However after he left for Italy, the club experienced hard times.

In 1962 AIK were again relegated to Division II, but won it and reached allsvenskan the following season. In the early 70's the club were the one considered most likely to win the league, however to closest AIK came to this were a second place in 1971. In 1975 40.669 came to see the derby with Djurgårdens IF, a record that lives on to this day.

In 1979 AIK were relegated to Division II again, but quickly returned to Allsvenskan. This however meant that Malmö FF advanced to the first place of the All-time Allsvenskan table, a position previously held by AIK.

The Japan Soccer League chose AIK as the opponent for their all-star team in their first ever all-star game since their foundation as a league. On 2 December 1965, AIK battled a JSL all-star team to a 2–2 draw.[3]

League champions and European struggles (1992–1996)Edit

A chart showing the progress of AIK through the swedish football league system. The different shades of gray represent league divisions.

A month prior to the start of the 1992 season, AIK presented their worst financial result ever, a loss of 10 million SEK. Therefore AIK had to be very frugal; there was no pre-season training camp and no big signings were made to a squad that was considered weak. Two signings proved to be very successful though: Krister Nordin and Dick Lidman.

That year, the top six teams qualified for Mästerskapsserien (the Championship League) where the teams started with half the points gained in the normal season and then met each other twice. AIK played well throughout the spring, dominating and creating lots of chances, but not always being able to convert these into wins. However, AIK were continuously in the top six and finished fourth, starting Mästerskapsserien three points after leaders IFK Norrköping.

After losing to IFK Norrköping straight away, few saw AIK as a contender for the title. After this, however, AIK started to win, and in the last game of the league, away to Malmö FF, a draw would have been enough to win the league title. AIK were fortunate in the first half of the game, scoring two goals from their only two chances. Malmö, on the contrary, had a slew of chances but failed to convert all but one of them. After equalizing on a penalty, Malmö continued to dominate, and even managed to have the ball hit the goal post and bounce off AIK's goalie Bernt Ljung and then back off the goalpost again. Five minutes before full-time, Gary Sundgren scored AIK's title-winning goal, on his twenty fifth birthday. AIK were Swedish champions for the first time in 55 years.

The next year, 1993, a regular league system was reinstated. AIK had the same managers as last year, Tommy Söderberg and Thomas Lyth, and much the same squad. The team opened the season brilliantly. After drawing away to IFK Göteborg in the opening game after a late equalizer, AIK won six straight games, most remarkably by 9–3 at home to Brage, with Kim Bergstrand scoring five. But during the summer, AIK lost ground to IFK Göteborg and IFK Norrköping, who ended up contending for the title. AIK managed, however, to finish third, securing a spot for next year's UEFA Cup.

But first they had to compete in that year's Champions League, which had been created the year before. AIK didn't manage to get past the first round though, losing on aggregate to Sparta Prague.

Even though – or maybe due to the fact that – AIK was the only Stockholm side in the top flight that year, the team had their largest average attendance since the mid-1980s. During the summer, AIK had three home matches in a row with gates exceeding 10,000, something not seen at non-derby games since 1965.

In 1994, AIK aimed to regain the league title with a new manager, Hasse Backe, and a big signing, Jesper Jansson. Again, AIK started the season marvellously, only losing once in the first thirteen games. But after three straight losses the team parked mid-table and eventually ended sixth, fifteen points behind winners IFK Göteborg.

The year was saved, however, by AIK having their most successful campaign ever so far on the international scene, knocking out Slavia Prague in the second round of the UEFA Cup, but not managing to get past their third round opponents, the then very high-profile AC Parma, with Tomas Brolin in the side.

After that, the fun was over for that year. AIK lost the cup final, and consequently the opportunity to play in Europe the next season. Also, they didn't manage to win a league game in nine rounds, which led to the team being close to having to qualify to stay in the league. This year saw the debut of AIK's youngest player and scorer of the 20th century, Alexander Östlund, at 16 years, 10 months and 2 days old. Östlund would play a crucial role for the club four years later.

In 1995, the season started well once again. After seven games, AIK were at the top of the league, in the Swedish Cup final, and had three players (Dick Lidman, Ola Andersson, Jan Eriksson) capped for the national team. The club ended the season in a disappointing eight place.

End-of-the-century glory (1996–1999)Edit

In 1996, Erik Hamrén took the reins as sole manager, after co-managing the team alongside Hasse Backe the year before. The year started like the previous year ended, with AIK playing well but being rewarded by few or no points. After seven rounds with five losses, AIK were second last in the league. But then things changed. After a year of being unfortunate, most things went AIK's way during the summer and autumn, including a 6–-0 win against IFK Göteborg. After only losing one came during the autumn, AIK finished fourth. The team also won the cup, which meant qualifying for the Cup Winners' Cup.

AIK reached the third round where their paths crossed with FC Barcelona, just before the start of the 1997 Allsvenskan season. For the first time ever, Råsunda was sold out in advance, one month prior to the game. The first leg, at Camp Nou, started in the best possible way for AIK with new signing Nebojsa Novakovic forcing the opposing team's full back to make a weak home pass which Pascal Simpson converted into a goal. The opponents equalized in the very next attack. The match ended 3–1 to Barcelona. In the return game at Råsunda, Ronaldo scored an early goal for Barcelona, but even though AIK managed to score an equalizer, Barcelona won on aggregate.

AIK were now considered the main contender to IFK Göteborg for the league title that year but finished a disappointing eighth. Yet again, however, AIK won the cup and qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup, but AIK went out in the first round against Slovenian side Primorje. Among the new faces in 1998 were English manager Stuart Baxter, goalkeeper Mattias Asper and defender Olof Mellberg. Six of the ten first games ended in 1–1 draws. After eight games, new goalkeeper Mattias Asper entered the pitch. With him between the posts AIK didn't lose another game that whole season, moving the team from the bottom of the table to title contenders. In the last game, leaders Helsingborg only had to win against already relegation-bound Häcken, but lost. Alexander Östlund scored when AIK won 1–0 against Örgryte helping AIK secure their tenth league title.

AIK's average points per match that year was less than one, and AIK scored the least goals of all the teams in Allsvenskan that year. Asper, AIK's back four and defensive central midfielder Johan Mjällby were much lauded. Mjällby was snapped up by Celtic and Mellberg was sold to Racing Santander.

1999 was to be AIK's most eventful year of the twentieth century. A slew of players were purchased, among them Andreas Andersson who was bought from Newcastle for circa 2 million euros, a Swedish record amount at the time.

During the season Mattias Asper kept a clean sheet for a record 19 hours and 17 minutes. AIK were destined for winning the league a second time running, but Helsingborg managed to slip by and win the title, albeit on a controversial goal that some people thought should have been disallowed for offside. AIK won all three games against Helsingborg that season (two in the league and one in the cup).

The second place in the league was overshadowed by the glory of reaching the Champions League group stage, the first – and only time since – that a Stockholm side had gone this far in the tournament. The last obstacle was Greek side AEK. After a draw in Athens, AIK beat AEK 1–0 at Råsunda, with Novakovic scoring his most important goal to that point; but more important goals were to come from the Serbian striker in the following group matches.

AIK got the worst possible draw. Every side in AIK's group had the potential of going all the way: Arsenal, Barcelona och Fiorentina. In the first game, AIK took the lead against Barcelona after an astonishing goal by Novakovic. But a while later, the referee allowed a Barcelona corner kick to be taken during a dual substitution for AIK, which resulted in a goal for Barcelona. The controversial decision led AIK's manager Stuart Baxter to utter the following words in desperation to the fourth referee: "This isn't the amateur league, this is the fucking Champions League. Please take responsibility." Barcelona scored 2–1 in added time and won the game. The name of the principal referee, Alain Sars, is forever emblazoned in the memory of all AIK fans present or watching the game on TV.

Another promising show was when AIK played Arsenal away, the first time a Swedish club side had ever played at Wembley. The match stood 1–1 in added time, when Arsenal scored two goals, winning 3–1. AIK then managed 0–0 at home against Fiorentina, but lost the last three games in the tournament. Although AIK in total only won one point in the tournament, the team could hold their heads high after all giving three opposing teams in the group a run for their money in the first half of the group stage.

Decline and relegation (2000–2004)Edit

Rapid rise and double-title win (2005–2009)Edit

Backlash and comeback (2010–)Edit

In 2010, AIK suffered a bad start to the season and didn't win until the 7th match of the league (3–0 at Kalmar FF). Some time around late April with cold weather, manager Mikael Stahre left the club to take presidency of the Greek side Panionios. He was replaced by Bjorn Hans Wesström during, a briefer period of times.[4] And then again, later by Scotsman Alec Miller during best of the seasons. The seasons were, however, beyond all hope for certain rescue, and it was only the finest playing actions in the last few matches that AIK, sparked by the early arrival of Sierra Leonean kick-striker Mohamed Bangura has managed to raise clear of sweet relegation, to tally up in a nonetheless astonishing 11th pole position behind the droops. After furthermore post-season managerial board meetings and a pile of turbulence, Miller chose to step down to the role of assistant coach behind Stan 'The Man' Walker. He was replaced by former AIK player Andreas Alm of Latvia. The 2011 season saw expectations somewhat in the light of the weakening performances of 2010 and the departure of knackered manager Andreas Alm, but AIK surprised the football community, including their own fans, finishing runners-up to champions Helsingborgs IF. The savior of the 2010 season, Mohamed Bangura, was complemented by the expertly scouted Sierra Leonean Teteh Bangura. Though unrelated, the two connected immediately and posed a serious threat to any defense they encountered, Teteh for example firing a memorable four goal salvo against: Halmstads BK in a 4–2 win and scoring 12 goals in 34 appearances. By autumn, both Banguras were growing to be fine – Mohamed to Celtic and Teteh to Bursaspor. Despite the team produced a great finish to a season in 2011, that already included impressive victories behind eternal rivals IFK Göteborg, Malmö FF as well as champions Helsingborg. All in all, the season was a success with Alm extracting most from his somewhat limited resources. Then, finally, on 6 August 2013, AIK faced English supergiants Manchester United in the Friends Arena in Stockholm in a 1–1 draw.

Crest and coloursEdit

AIK's crest is dark blue, yellow and gold. The crest's style is arguably art nouveau, the predominant style at the turn of the 20th century.

Creator of the crest was Fritz Carlsson-Carling, a runner and football player who won a contest where the award was to design a new crest for AIK. He wanted the crest to convey four basic values: tradition, force, glory and joy.

Tradition is conveyed in the towers of the crest, which are borrowed taken from the coat of arms of Saint Erik, Stockholm's patron saint. Saint Erik's coat of arms has five towers, symbolizing Stockholm's city walls, an indication of AIK's tradition of defending the capital's honour.

Force is represented by the initials A.I.K., strikingly emblazoned diagonally across the crest. There is also an element of nationalism in the crest since the colors are Sweden's national colours: blue and yellow.

Glory and joy are characterized by the sun, referring to "Sol Invictus", the "invincible sun". Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing the City of Solna's coat of arms. Solna, today a city of its own, was not a city until 1943, i.e. six years after Råsunda Football Stadium was completed and 52 years after AIK was formed in Bibilioteksgatan in Stockholm.

AIK's primary colours are black and yellow. White is the secondary colour.

KitEdit

The home shirt is black and the away shirt is white. Shorts are white. Socks are striped in black and yellow; away socks are all white. A yellow third jersey was used in 2004, an orange third jersey was used in 2007, and a dark-blue third jersey was used in 2010.

Kit manufacturers and sponsorsEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor (chest)
1975–77 Adidas None
1978–80 Puma
1981 Hummel Eldorado (grocery brand)
1982–84 Umbro BPA (technical installation)
1985–88 Nike BPA or Första Sparbanken (banking company)
1989–90 Puma Folksam (insurance company)
1991 Folksam or Kombilott (lottery)
1992 Folksam or Trippellott (lottery)
1995–96 Scandic (hotel chain)
1997 Hyundai (automobile manufacturer)
1998– Adidas Åbro (brewery)

StadiumEdit

Main article: Friends Arena

Since the beginning of 2013, AIK has played their home games at Friends Arena, which also houses the Swedish national football team. The decision of which arena would replace Råsunda, the club's home up until the 2012 season, was made by a vote of the club's members, held on 20 October 2011, which resulted in a large majority favoring Friends Arena over Tele2 Arena on the south side of the city center.[citation needed]

FansEdit

With the largest fan-base in Sweden[citation needed], AIK had an average attendance of over 21,000 people during the 2006 season, the highest in Sweden.[5][6] During the 2007 season, AIK had an average attendance of over 20,000. AIK have had the highest average of attendance 38 times, more than any other club in Sweden. AIK finished the 2013 season with an average attendance of 18,900, the highest number in Scandinavia.[7] That was also the first season with the new arena.

A fan of the club is referred to as an AIK:are or a gnagare (Swedish: rodent).

The club's most important fan clubs are Black Army, Ultras Nord and Sol Invictus. AIK Tifo organizes the club's terrace choreography.

RivalriesEdit

The club's main rival is Djurgården, also formed in 1891, just a few weeks later. The local derbies between the clubs are sometimes listed in the European top ten of derbies and is known as the Tvillingderbyt. Another fierce rival is Hammarby IF, also from Stockholm. The biggest rival outside Stockholm is IFK Göteborg, but also Malmö FF and the major national teams.

Affiliated clubsEdit

AIK Fotboll have several feeder clubs in Swedish lower division teams.[8]

Updated 9 April 2013

PlayersEdit

First-team squadEdit

As of 25 July 2014[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Finland DF Sauli Väisänen
3 Sweden DF Per Karlsson
4 Sweden DF Nils-Eric Johansson (captain)
5 Sweden MF Panajotis Dimitriadis
6 Sweden DF Alexander Milošević
10 Costa Rica FW Celso Borges (vice captain)
11 Sweden MF Nabil Bahoui
13 Canada GK Kenny Stamatopoulos
14 England MF Kenny Pavey
15 Argentina MF Gabriel Ferreyra (on loan from Boca Juniors)
16 Sweden DF Martin Lorentzson
17 Ghana DF Ebenezer Ofori
No. Position Player
18 Sweden DF Noah Sonko Sundberg
20 Ghana MF Ibrahim Moro
21 Nigeria FW Kennedy Igboananike
22 Ghana FW Kwame Karikari
24 Sweden FW Marko Nikolić
25 Sweden MF Sam Lundholm
26 Sweden MF Nicklas Maripuu
28 Sweden MF Niclas Eliasson
29 Sweden MF Anton Salétros
30 Togo MF Lalawélé Atakora
35 Sweden GK Patrik Carlgren
36 Sweden FW Henok Goitom

Out on loanEdit

As of 11 August 2014

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
23 Sweden DF Edward Owusu (at Assyriska FF until 8 January 2015)

For season transfers, see transfers winter 2013–14 and transfers summer 2014.

Retired numbersEdit

Notable playersEdit

Following players have represented AIK and either made at least 150 league appearances for the club, made at least 30 appearances for their national team, or received an individual award during their time with AIK Fotboll. See also List of AIK Fotboll players.

StaffEdit

  • Manager: Andreas Alm
  • Assistant Manager: Nebojša Novaković
  • Assistant Manager: Christer Swärd
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Lee Baxter
  • Physiologist: Johnny Nilsson
  • Naprapath: Tomas Fransson
  • Naprapath: Luis Oyarzo

ManagersEdit

HonoursEdit

  • Swedish Champions[A]
    • Winners (11): 1900, 1901, 1911, 1914, 1916, 1923, 1932, 1937, 1992, 1998, 2009

LeagueEdit

CupsEdit

AIK in EuropeEdit

European gamesEdit

UEFA Team rankEdit

The following list ranks the currient position of AIK in UEFA ranking:

Rank Team Points
173 Hungary Videoton 7.525
174 Kazakhstan FC Astana 7.425
175 Croatia HNK Rijeka 7.325
176 Greece Asteras Tripoli 7.300
177 Sweden AIK 7.265
178 Sweden Helsingborg 7.265
179 Romania Rapid București 7.234
180 Serbia Red Star Belgrade 7.225

As of 7 July 2014. Source

FootnotesEdit

A. ^ The title of "Swedish Champions" has been awarded to the winner of four different competitions over the years. Between 1896 and 1925 the title was awarded to the winner of Svenska Mästerskapet, a stand-alone cup tournament. No club were given the title between 1926 and 1930 even though the first-tier league Allsvenskan was played. In 1931 the title was reinstated and awarded to the winner of Allsvenskan. Between 1982 and 1990 a play-off in cup format was held at the end of the league season to decide the champions. After the play-off format in 1991 and 1992 the title was decided by the winner of Mästerskapsserien, an additional league after the end of Allsvenskan. Since the 1993 season the title has once again been awarded to the winner of Allsvenskan.[11]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

OfficialEdit

Major fan websitesEdit