WHOSE: Terje Liverød (67)
WHAT: Football agent based in Uruguay
WHY: Have written a report on how Norwegian top football needs to change. It has caused a stir.
Yo, I hear you want to turn Norwegian football upside down?
– No. Or, yes. In a way. It is absolutely necessary to have a debate about the fundamental conditions in Norwegian football. It stands with one and a half legs in a collapse that is denied.
It’s not going OK, is it? What kind of collapse?
– It is very comprehensive. My research touches on a very broad spectrum, not just in and out. It is about economics, imports, exports. There are a lot of parameters, and almost all of them are moving in the opposite direction of the global development. These are facts.
That’s it! Can you provide some examples?
– The salary level. It’s so low. Not only globally, Norwegian top football is a low-paid industry in the Norwegian context. If a 19-year-old has the choice: Play fourteen years in Sarpsborg, or study? The choice is pretty clear.
If you say so.
– And then there are foreign workers. Globally, the number of foreign workers has increased over the past 25 years. The Premier League has over 60 percent. There is a correlation between level and the proportion of foreign players. Tell me how many foreign workers you have and I’ll tell you how good you are. In Norway, the proportion of foreign players has continuously fallen.
Do we have more problems?
– Yes, the sporting level. Transfer fees for players have never been lower. VIF sells its best young player for 1.7 million euros. On average, I calculate that the global inflation on player transfers has been seven percent per year. It then turns out that the prices for Norwegian players are now below ten percent of what the prices for Norwegian players were 15–20 years ago. At the same time, more players have never left the Norwegian elite series. They travel to backyard clubs for a lick and nothing. The Norwegian players are far too bad.
Well, we now have a pretty good pair?
– We have an international phenomenon, that is Haaland. These appear from time to time. Ødegaard is a good player, but every country has someone like that.
[ Ap trenger en Stefan Strandberg. Det mener i hvert fall AUF-topp Emre ]
Not everyone has the captain of the team leading the Premier League?
– But dear beautiful vein. Nobody pays attention to Ødegaard. They take Haaland into account. All national teams have international star players. Ødegaard is not a superstar. In any case, all national teams have it. And two players is not enough.
So… what is the solution?
– You have to take some long-term and some short-term measures. The first thing is to change the undemocratic and undynamic model in Norwegian top football. The NFF is created by top clubs. But today it is a grassroots organization that will decide on top football, without having the prerequisites. There can never be optimal decisions.
Could be optimal for football as a whole, perhaps?
– I’m talking about top football. There must be room for everyone. Norwegian top football has become so inclusive that it excludes. There is no room for those who want to be the best. Do you think the Ingebrigtsen guys would have been the best if they were to train according to the same principles as Norwegian grassroots football? This would mean that anyone who wanted to could join and train with them. And they had to run slower to train with the worst. This is not well thought out.
This sounds a bit like an ideological crusade, doesn’t it?
– No. Or, yes. The ideology in Norwegian football is totalitarian. You are not allowed to have opinions. Football has been brainwashed by the NFF’s dogmas.
[ Dagsavisen følger Oslo-fotballen tettest. Hør «Trikkeligaen» der du finner podkaster. ]
Specifically, what do you want to change?
– The decision-making model must be changed. The league association must administer its own league. To be a separate product, independent of the NFF. Then they must reduce the number of teams in the Eliteserien to ten. They must do so at once, at any cost.
It sounds sad for Drammen, Tromsø and Sandefjord.
– They get to participate, but perhaps not always at the top level. In top sport, there is not room for everyone all the time. Any sane soccer country has locomotives. Big, strong clubs. After all, that’s where football is played.
But is it that dangerous, then? If top football isn’t really great?
– It might be okay, for Norwegians. But they have to make a choice. The fact that there are ten teams in the Eliteserien does not make grassroots football any worse. Is it crazy for Tromsø to play at level 2, then?
Finally, some regular questions: Who was your childhood hero?
– Thorbjørn Svenssen. He who has played the second most international matches in Norway.
What was the matter with him?
– He played at Sandefjord. From the time I was four or five years old, I went to matches. He vied with Billy Wright for having the most caps in the world. When he had played 100 international matches there was a torch train from the railway to Park Hotell. I was so small that I couldn’t hold a torch, I was sad about that. Thorbjørn later became a good friend of mine.
Who would you rather be stuck in the elevator with?
– No one. And at least not a football player.
[ Drillo om den udugelige VIF-treneren. Men så kom briten som snudde opp ned på alt ]