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Post by Scottish » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:14 pm

One of the interesting features of Norwegian football is that none of the three best-supported teams in the country hails from Oslo, despite the capital being four times larger than any other urban area. Support is spread evenly around the country. Other than Oslo there’s no population centre larger than Aberdeen so the figures for the likes of Aalesunds and (particularly) Molde are very good indeed.

Norway operates a sixteen-club, thirty matches, 240 games in all system with the bottom two going down and third last going into a play-off. It’s a good example of how a sixteen-club league functions perfectly well in a small country. Greedy Scottish club chairmen (if any ever read this) take note. Yes, there are no “big” clubs yet for many years Rosenborg offered a model for smaller teams in the Champions League. Sadly, they no longer do. But if the Norwegians can cope with the travel involved from Tromsø to Kristiansand – around 1,250 miles, or about Land’s End to John O’ Groats and over halfway back – without worrying about the numbers involved, it’s definitely worth studying

Nor, looking at the bottom end of the attendance table is the Norwegian Tippeligaen affected by the “extra” teams as eleven clubs posted 5K+ figures and no team had less than a 3,000 average. With the best supported drawing in excess of four times more than the worst supported it isn’t the greatest of ratios for top to bottom but it’s nowhere near the Scottish situation of almost fourteen times the difference.

The average of 6,951 makes Norway the 17th best-supported top flight in Europe and 33rd in the world. Highest crowd last season was 20,442 and lowest 2,330. Rosenborg were 303rd in the world.

13915 Rosenborg
11985 Brann
10014 Viking
9756 Vålerenga
9243 Molde
7602 Aalesunds
7156 Odd Grenland
6708 Strømsgodset
5962 Start
5745 Lillestrøm
5579 Haugesund
3946 Sarpsborg 08
3834 Stabæk
3382 Bodø/Glimt
3349 Sogndal
3037 Sandnes Ulf

The 1.Divisjon has an identical number of teams and games in the regular season. The top two go up and the next four go into the play-offs. These are organised as 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 with the two winners meeting to determine who takes on third last in the top flight. The all- 1.Divisjon games are one-offs with the higher placed team at the end of the regular season playing at home. The final play-off between the 1.Divisjon qualifier and third last in the top division is over two legs. The bottom four go down, hence ten of the sixteen clubs end up either relegated, promoted or in a promotion play-off.

The second level average was 1,385 last season, 30th overall. Highest was 5,054 and lowest 206. This suggests to me that while Norway has no problem working with sixteen teams at the top level, there between four-six too many in this tier.

4313 Frederikstad
2771 Tromsø
2687 Sandefjord
1554 Hønefoss
1498 Hødd
1462 Kristiansund
1319 HamKam
1240 Bryne
1151 Mjøndalen
797 Nest-Sotra
646 Alta
623 Bærum
613 Ranheim
571 Tromsdalen
398 Ullensaker/Kisa
378 Strømmen

The third level is split into four regions with the winners of each being promoted and the last three in all relegated. There are fourteen teams in each region, playing each other twice for a total of twenty-six games each and 182 in all.

With another fifty-six teams added to the thirty-two in the top two levels then obviously attendances are going to look poor, though some at the top end in each of the divisions can hold their own with Scotland’s League Two and in a few cases League One.

In the Oddsenligaen AVD 1 the average was 375. Highest crowd was 1,279 and the lowest fifty-two.

896 Kongsvinger
532 Fram
499 Notodden
463 Arendal
437 Asker
430 Jerv
375 Vindbjart
294 Floy
289 Pors Grenland
271 Orn Horten
222 Odd Grenland 2
182 Holmen
107 Birkebeineren
93 Strømsgodset 2

In AVD 2 the average was 250 with the highest 2,474 and the lowest twenty.

616 Levanger
522 Raufoss
433 Brumunddal
420 Elverum
298 Gjovik-Lyn
219 Nybergsund Tryfil
205 Valdres
135 Herd
127 Byasen
126 Rodde
100 Nardo
90 Rosenborg 2
83 Molde 2
77 Traeff

AVD 3’s average was 322. Best was 2,350 and worst thirty-five.

845 Lyn
599 Floro
455 Egersunds
450 Forde
384 Fyllingsdalen
350 Algard
305 Stord Fotball
217 Vard Haugesund
188 Fana
141 Asane
125 Stabæk 2
111 Brann 2
95 Vidar
82 Grorud

In AVD 4 the average was 207 with 828 the highest and forty-one the lowest.

556 Follo
498 Moss
227 Harstad
209 Kjelsas
179 Eidsvold
159 Medkila
155 Skeid
154 Mo IL Toppfotball
145 Finnsnes
141 Kvik Halden
139 KFUM
125 Vålerenga 2
124 Drobak-Frogn
107 Lorenskog

The overall average for the third level was 286.

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