The Royal League was an annual Scandinavian football tournament held three times between teams from the three Scandinavian monarchies (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway), starting after the end of the regular domestic seasons of Norway and Sweden. Denmark, however, was in mid-season when the tournament started. The four best-placed teams in the football leagues of Denmark, Norway and Sweden participate in the tournament.
|Number of teams||12|
|Last champions||Brøndby IF|
|Most successful club(s)||F.C. Copenhagen (2 titles)|
The 2007-2008 edition was cancelled for financial reasons, but the board planned to resurrect the tournament for the 2008-2009 season. On 11 October 2008 it was announced that the 2008-09 season would not be held either, as the TV rights for the tournament had not been sold.
There were however plans for a tournament in 2010, but under a new name; Royal Cup.
For the Royal League 2004-05 tournament, the twelve participating teams were initially placed into three groups. The two best-placed teams from each country were placed in the same group, while the two other teams were placed in the two other groups. In each group, each team played against the other three teams, home and away. The two best-placed teams of each group were randomly placed into two new groups. The three teams of each new group played each other, home and away. The 2005 Royal League Final was contested on 26 May 2005, by Swedish team IFK Gothenburg and FC Copenhagen from Denmark. FC Copenhagen won the title following a penalty shootout.
In the second season of the tournament, the twelve participating teams were also divided into three preliminary groups. The two best-placed teams of each group, and the two best third-placed teams went on to play quarterfinals. The rest of the tournament was played in a knockout-system. The quarter-finals and semi-finals were played both at home and away, while there was only a single final game to decide the winner. The 2006 Royal League Final was contested on 6 April 2006, by FC Copenhagen and Lillestrøm from Norway. FC Copenhagen won their second title, when Razak Pimpong scored to 1-0 in the last minutes of the game.
For the Royal League 2006-07 tournament, the structure of initial group stage and subsequent knockout-stage was kept. As opposed to the previous edition of the tournament, the knock-out stages were played as single games, with the team having the best group stage record earning home field advantage. The 2007 Royal League Final was contested on 15 March 2007, by Danish team Brøndby IF and FC Copenhagen. Brøndby won 1-0, on a penalty kick converted by Martin Ericsson.
The league has received quite a lot of criticism since the first season. The teams rarely bother to play with their best side, and this leads to a lack of interest. Raising the award money and/or giving direct place in the UEFA Champions League have been suggested as ways to improve the situation.
|2004-05||Copenhagen||Denmark||1–1, (11-10 pen)||Göteborg||Sweden||Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden||10,216||Thu, 26 May 2005|
|2005-06||Copenhagen||Denmark||1–0||Lillestrøm||Norway||Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark||13,617||Thu, 6 April 2006|
|2006-07||Brøndby||Denmark||1–0||Copenhagen||Denmark||Brøndby Stadion, Brøndby, Denmark||17,914||Thu, 15 March 2007|
All-time table by countryEdit
See also: All-time Royal League statistics