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Ostersunds FK: Swedish club in financial crisis just 20 months after beating Arsenal

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By Matt Davis
BBC Sport
Its February 2018 and Ostersunds FK have won 2-1 in Arsenal at the Europa League.
The team – handled by Englishman Graham Potter – are from the contest on aggregate, but victory at Emirates Stadium is a fitting end to your fairytale 14-game run to the previous 16.
Their achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider it is only eight years since they were in the fourth division.
But now, 20 months on from this night the team, in London are currently facing a fight for their future.
For us soccer lovers there is no choice, read a club statement published to their site this week. Ostersund with no elite soccer team is unthinkable
The fiscal figures of the club are stark.
They need to raise 15m Swedish krona (kr) – roughly #1.2m by the end of the year to keep the team running, using 10m kr of the sum to be covered by the end of the month. So far kr was raised.
A 1.4m kr tax invoice has to be compensated by 2 November.
Fans and businesses have been asked to donate to this cause, and also the team needs sponsorship.
We ask you to return on all the wonderful memories and what joy and pride we experienced with OFK, the club statement said. If we want to experience it again, we must collectively help to get out of this catastrophe.
Potter – now managing Brighton in the Premier League – has donated, as have players that were former and his coaching staff.
Chairman Daniel Kindberg has been the guy who oversaw the rise of the club to the airport for the very first time at 2015 and hired Potter. Winning the Cup brought football to the northern city.
Kindberg has been on trial in Sweden convicted of serious financial crimes – accusations he denies – with all the judges verdict expected on 5.
The club say they have lost 7m krona in sponsorship earnings and failed to earn 20m kr in participant sales and 5m kr from matchday earnings that they had forged for.
They are under a transfer ban out of Fifa within the move of Saman Ghoddos to club Amiens, a decision they wish to appeal to for Sport.
This is a critical situation, director Ian Burchnall told BBC Sport. It has come fast and out of nowhere considering where the club was a short time period ago.
The club had an incredible travel, but a lot of things behind the scenes also have happened since then.
We are not the only team in Sweden who have economic issues. And it is so common in soccer – only look at Bury and Bolton.
It is actually hard to compete on very top and create a sustainable model
Burchnall triumphed compatriot Potter when the latter left Swansea at June 2018.
The team ended in Burchnalls first season however are currently 13th, three points away from the relegation places.
There are seven English players in the club, including former Chelsea midfielder Charlie Colkett. Before leaving Sheffield United in July ravel Morrison spent five months there.
This season the club had its finest start at the league, but because the summer that it has been quite difficult with what is happening off the pitch, said Burchnall, 36.
We have probably been in the news this season over any other team in Sweden for several different reasons, but largely for the off-field difficulties, the ongoing court case, the economic issues and the Fifa move embargo.
It is a really young group. We played with the youngest team for 20 years in the Swedish league. Obviously they are affected by it – either consciously or subconsciously.
They are a great group, but you can feel sometimes you need to work hard to keep them focused on football things.
Burchnall reported the reduction of this club, which includes average attendances of all 4,800, would beenormous.
Over the years Graham and his staff and I have sustained top-flight football in the north of Sweden, where they hadnt had it for decades, he said. To get a group competing is a massive thing.
The fans are unbelievable. No matter what the situation is almost supported by them. Its testament to them and also a great deal of people have come forward to try raise funds quickly.
The clubs media supervisor, Niclas Lidstrom, neglects to discuss the nightmare scenario, saying only:We will fix this
And Burchnall remains planning for next season.
I know a great deal of great people are working hard to get the perfect thing, and put a platform in place to keep growing the group, he said.
Ive brought in a lot of young and talented players on contracts that are longer, with a view to building something for the near future and set out a group that has real asset value in terms of what we could sell players for later on.
We need to appear forward. Im planning for the next match, but once we talk about the team and gamers, we talk as if weve got a long-term view on it
There was somebody out there that didnt that could do it and take action
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