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 only won 2-1 at Arsenal at the Europa League.
The team – managed by Englishman Graham Potter – are out of this competition on aggregate, but success in Emirates Stadium is a fitting ending to your fairytale run to the last 16.
Their achievement is all the more remarkable once you consider it is only eight years because they were at the branch.
But 20 months on from that night the club, in London are facing a struggle for their future.
For us soccer fans theres not any choice, read a club statement posted on their site nowadays. Ostersund with no elite soccer team is unthinkable.
The club figures are crude.
They need to raise 15m Swedish krona (kr) – about #1.2m by the close of the season to keep the team running, using 10m kr of that sum to be paid by the end of the month. So far 6m kr has been raised.
A 1.4m kr tax bill needs to be paid by 2 November.
Fans and employers are being asked to donate to the cause, and also sponsorship is desperately needed by the team.
We request you to think back on all of the amazing memories and what joy and pride we experienced together with OFK, the club statement said. If we want to experience it , we must collectively help to escape this catastrophe.
Potter – now handling Brighton from the Premier League – has donated, as have former players and his coaching staff.
Chairman Daniel Kindberg was the man who hired Potter and oversaw the clubs rise to the top flight for the first time in 2015. Soccer was brought by winning the Cup to the city.
Kindberg has been on trial in Sweden convicted of crimes that are severe – accusations he denies – together with all the judges verdict.
The club say theyve lost 7m krona in sponsorship revenue and failed to earn 20m kr in player sales and 5m kr at matchday earnings that they had forged for.
Theyre Also under a transport ban from Fifa over the move of Saman Ghoddos to club Amiens, a decision they intend to appeal to for Sport.
This is a critical situation, director Ian Burchnall told BBC Sport. It has come quickly and out of nowhere considering where the club was a short period of time ago.
The team had an incredible travel, but a great deal of things behind the scenes also have happened since then.
We arent the only team in Sweden who have economic problems. And it is so typical in football – just look at Bolton and Bury.
It is really tough to compete at the top and create a sustainable model.
Burchnall triumphed compatriot Potter when the latter left in June 2018 for Swansea.
The team ended sixth in Burchnalls first year in charge, however are 13th, three points off the relegation places, together with three matches remaining.
There are seven players at the club. Before leaving Sheffield United in July, ravel Morrison spent there.
This season the club had its best ever start at the Swedish league, but since the summer it has been quite difficult with what is happening off the pitch, said Burchnall, 36.
We have probably been in the news this season more than every other team in Sweden for many distinct reasons, but mostly for the off-field issues, the ongoing court case, the financial problems and the Fifa transfer embargo.
Its a very young squad. At one stage we played with the youngest team in the league for 20 years. Obviously it affects them either unconsciously or consciously.
They are a great set, but you can sense sometimes you have to work hard to keep them focused on football matters.
Burchnall said the reduction of the club, which has average attendances of 4,800, could behuge.
Over time Graham and his staff and I have sustained top-flight soccer in the north of Sweden, where they had not had it for decades, he explained. To have a group up here competing is a gigantic thing.
The fans are incredible. No matter what the situation is almost supported by them. It is testament to them and also a great deal of people have come forward to try out raise funds fast.
The clubs media manager, Niclas Lidstrom, neglects to discuss the nightmare scenario, saying only:We will correct this
And Burchnall is likely for next season.
I know a good deal of good people are working hard to do the right thing, and hopefully put a platform in place to keep growing the group, he said.
I have brought in a great deal of young and gifted players on contracts that are longer, with a view to building something for the near future and put out a group which has actual asset value in terms of what we can sell players for in the future.
We need to appear forward. Im planning for the next match, but once we discuss the squad and players, we talk as if we have a long-term perspective on it.
There was someone out there who did that could do it and take action
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