Sportsklubben Brann (commonly known as Brann, and less often as SK Brann) is a Norwegian professional football club, founded 26 September 1908, from Bergen. Brann had been in the Eliteserien, Norway's Premier Division of Football, since 1987, bar one season spent in the 1. divisjon in 2015, but they were relegated again in 2021.[1] They play their home matches at Brann Stadion[2] where they had a record-breaking 17,310 in average attendance in the 2007 season.[3] In October 2007, Brann won the Norwegian league title for the first time since 1963.

Sportsklubben Brann
Brann logo.svg
Full nameSportsklubben Brann
Short nameBrann
Founded26 September 1908; 114 years ago (1908-09-26)
GroundBrann Stadion, Bergen
ChairmanAslak Sverdrup
Head coachEirik Horneland
League1. divisjon
2021Eliteserien, 14th of 16 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season


As the biggest club in Norway's second-largest city Bergen, Brann is historically one of the major clubs in Norway in terms of public interest, and hence there are high expectations for the club every season. Brann won their first Norwegian top flight titles in 1961–62 and 1963, but after this Brann was involved in the race for the league title only in seasons 1974–76, 1990 and 2006. In 2007, they reclaimed the league title and thus ended a 44-year-long waiting period.

Despite the limited success, the club has never failed to spark considerable interest from the Norwegian media and keeping an epidemic of football hysteria continuously running in Bergen. Moreover, Brann have regularly been winners and runners-up of the Norwegian Cup. The club reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup in the 1996–97 season.

Formation and early yearsEdit

On 26 September 1908 Christen K. Gran and Birger Gjestland together with eight other men, met in a local café in Bergen. Due to dissatisfaction of the current state of the local football clubs in Bergen, they decided to form a new football club. They called it Ski- og Fodboldklubben Brann (Ski and Football Club Brann). This was later changed to Sportsklubben Brann (Sport Club Brann).

Brann played their first match against a local Bergen team on New Year's Day 1909, drawing 1–1. During the first years, Brann struggled with poor results. Then in 1917,considered the breakthrough year for Brann, they managed to qualify for the cup final. Brann lost the match 1–4 against Sarpsborg, but was now among the top teams of Norway. In 1917 the club bought an area south of the city of Bergen. Two years later on 25 May, with funding contributed by fans and investors, Brann Stadion was opened. The opening match was against the Norwegian national team, losing 2–6. In 1923 Brann won their first title when they defeated Lyn 2–1 in the Cup final. Two years later Brann claimed their second title this time defeating Sarpsborg 3–0 in the cup final.

The following years Brann entered a recession. Brann had to wait until 1947 before again qualifying for the top league that was now called Norgesligaen (Norwegian league). In 1950 Brann once again managed to qualify for the cup final, losing 0–3 to Fredrikstad.

1960s and 1970s: Glory and relegationEdit

In the 1960s Brann produced two of Norway's most profiled players. With Roald Jensen and Rolf Birger Pedersen on the team, Brann won their first League Championship in 1961–62 and in the consecutive season in 1963. During the 1963 season, Brann had an average attendance at 15,486, which was the league record until 2003, when Rosenborg did better.[1]

In 1964, Brann were among the favorites to win their third consecutive league championship, but due to many injured players the team only won one of the first nine league games. In the second half of the season, Brann was positioned in the relegation zone and the team's star, Roald Jensen had departed to the Scottish team Hearts. Before the decisive match of the season, Brann was one point behind Viking on the last spot which was clear of relegation, and Brann were facing the already relegated Raufoss at home. Even though Brann had the greatest chances to score a goal, Raufoss won the match 1–0, and Brann surprisingly was relegated from the top league along with Raufoss.[4]

Brann were promoted back into the top league in 1967, and Brann won the Cup Championship two times in the 1970s. Once in 1972 defeating Rosenborg 1–0. And again in 1976 defeating Sogndal 2–1. In each of the seasons 1974–1976, Brann narrowly missed out on the league title, attracting an average attendance that was unheard of in Norway at the time.

1980s: The "yo-yo" yearsEdit

With the 1980s came Brann's "yo-yo" era.[5][6] Brann were relegated in 1979 and won the 2nd division in 1980, and the team continued to alternate between the 1st and 2nd division until they finally avoided relegation in 1987. This was a world record for consecutive relegations-promotions involving a top tier division. Brann remained in the top flight until it was relegated at the end of the 2014 season. In 1982, Brann again won the Cup Championship, beating Molde 3–2. Neil MacLeod scored the winning goal in the 57th minute.

Brann hadn't had any real challenge from local rivals at least since the 1950s. In 1989, however, the Bergen-based Fyllingen IL were promoted to the first tier for the first time.

1990s: Derbies, medals and brief European successEdit

Unlike for example the English Premier League, the top three teams of the Eliteserien are awarded medals. Silver and bronze medals are sometimes received with a shrug, but Brann's dismal league history made them top priority for the club in the 1990s. In 1990, Brann were involved in a decisive last match where they had the chance of clinching the league title, but lost and ended fourth. They lost out on their first medals since 1976 as local rivals Fyllingen IL conceded two vital goals against Molde FK in stoppage time. Only weeks prior to this, Fyllingen IL had beaten Brann in the Cup semi-finals, and their outspoken ambitions to take over the football hegemony in Bergen by now had become a major annoyance for Brann.

In 1991, after a shock resignation of manager Teitur Thordarson, Brann once again struggled, and needed a win in their last game against Strømsgodset in order save play-off against two first division teams. Losing the game would send Brann down, while securing play-off for equally struggling local rivals Fyllingen IL. Also, there were fears that a relegation would spawn another long-term "elevator era". A panic-stricken crowd saw Brann win the game 2–0. In the play-offs, though beating Strindheim IL at home, Brann still needed to beat Bryne F.K. away in a deciding match. A goal by Sten Glenn Håberg gave Brann a 1–0 win over Bryne, however, in a dramatic match where former Brann manager Mons Ivar Mjelde, then at the opposition side, hit the post.

Fyllingen IL were promoted back into the top division in 1992. In 1993 Brann got their two first-ever wins against their local rivals. A 6–1 thrashing in the penultimate league round sent Fyllingen down, while securing continued top division status for Brann. After the season, Brann purchased Fyllingen's key player Per-Ove Ludvigsen, and this put an end to Fyllingen and the derby matches. Fyllingen are now a mediocre fourth division side without top flight ambitions.

Brann were notorious for lacking a regular goal scorer ever since the 1970s, but this ended with Trond Egil Soltvedt's many goals in 1993 and 1994. His extremely dedicated style, his innocent and somewhat naïve personality and the fact that many of his goals were scored as a midfielder made him immensely popular. Just before the start of the 1995 season, however, he was sacked by Brann's board for "disloyalty", the board refusing to elaborate on this. Disciplinary action was also taken against stars Frank Strandli, Inge Ludvigsen and Claus Lundekvam. This caused a public outcry, the issue was all over the national media, there were demonstrations in the centre of Bergen, and the fans were split in their support to Soltvedt or to the board and manager Hallvar Thoresen. Attendances and the atmosphere on Brann Stadion initially plummeted as a result of this. The team spirit amongst players also seemed broken, and the first game against Molde F.K. was lost 6-0 at home, resulting in the entire crowd yelling for the board to resign. With Brann at bottom position halfway through the league season, Hallvar Thoresen was sacked and Kjell Tennfjord, the manager behind Fyllingen IL's success, was appointed. He saved Brann into an eventual mid-table position and led them to the Norwegian cup finals, again sparking immense optimism around the club.

In 1996, as in 1990, Brann were denied bronze medals in injury time of the last game, after a terrible blunder by keeper Birkir Kristinsson. Only days later, however, Brann beat PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands to advance to the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup, ironically thanks to world-class goalkeeping by the same Birkir Kristinsson. This was the second time a Norwegian team had qualified for the last eight in Europe. In the quarter-finals, Brann first drew 1–1 at home against Liverpool F.C., before losing the away match 3–0 and thus being knocked out.

In 1997, Brann finally won league silver medals after a solitary last-match again from former manager Mons Ivar Mjelde. Later, Brann have also won league medals after finishing second in the 2000 and 2006 season and third in 1999 and 2004.

In 1998, as in 1995, Brann found themselves at the bottom of the table halfway through the season. The manager Kjell Tennfjord was replaced by Harald Aabrekk, and a host of quality players were purchased. This saved Brann from relegation, but combined with the construction of a new stand on Brann Stadion it gave them grave financial problems that only recently were resolved.

2000s: First title in decadesEdit

Teitur Thordarson was named new manager in 2000, when Harald Aabrekk left the job. For the second time in four seasons Brann won silver medals, secured after defeating Molde 4–0 in the last game of the season. Thorstein Helstad became the top goal scorer in the league in 2000 and 2001.

SK Brann celebrates the silver in 2006 after victory over HamKam

The 2002 season was the worst season for Brann in twelve seasons. Brann finished third from the bottom and had to play games against Sandefjord to stay in the top league. The matches ended 0–0 (away), 2–1 (home), and Brann narrowly avoided relegation after a Sandefjord shot went less than a foot wide in injury time.

Ending third in 2004 season of the league qualified Brann for the Scandinavian Royal League.

In their impatient but unfruitful struggle to reclaim the glory of the 1960s, Brann over the years gained a reputation for inept leadership, unfounded enthusiasm or optimism and almost continuous internal unrest, deservedly or not. Since Mons Ivar Mjelde took over as manager in 2003, however, this image has changed, as the leadership has embraced continuity and extremely down-to-earth principles. Brann were now considered one of the best-run and harmonic clubs in Norway.

Being one of the biggest clubs in Norway in terms of public interest, it is generally agreed that Brann have underperformed compared to their potential at least since the mid-1970s. However, on 7 November 2004, Brann won their first title in 22 years defeating F.C. Lyn Oslo 4–1 in the Norwegian Cup. Bengt Sæternes was man of the match scoring three goals within the first 35 minutes.

For most of the 2006 season Brann were top of the league and by many considered to be favourites to win the title. However, a poor run of form after the summer break, coupled with a correspondingly good run of form from arch-rivals Rosenborg meant that the Brann hopefuls were disappointed.

Brann vs Lyn in 2007

Brann won the league in 2007. In the end they finished six points ahead of its nearest rival, Stabæk. The team did cause a small sensation, and bitter disappointment among tens of thousands of Brann-supporters who had gathered in Bergen to watch the game live, on 20 October by losing to Aalesund 1–2 in the 24th of 26 rounds, a match where a draw would have set aside all doubt about Brann's league win.[7] However two days later, Viking defeated Brann's last rival to the gold medals Stabæk with a 2-1 result, thereby securing Brann the first league championship since 1963 anyway.[8] The same season Brann also qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Cup, and advanced from the group with a win and a draw. Brann faced a tough test against Everton F.C. with the aggregated score an 8-1 loss after two games.[9]

The 2008 season was a major disappointment for all the fans hoping to repeat the success of the 2007 season. In the league Brann finished eighth (of 14 teams) and in the national cup they reached the final 16 but was eliminated after an 8–0 loss away to Molde FK. Brann also participated in the UEFA Champions League qualifier, but was eliminated from the contest in the third qualifying round after losing both matches (home 0–1, away 1–2) against Olympique de Marseille from France.[10] After this they played against the Spanish team Deportivo de La Coruña in the first round of the 2008–2009 edition of UEFA Cup but was eliminated on penalties after an aggregate result of 2–2.[11] On 7 October 2008 Brann and their head coach Mons Ivar Mjelde announced that he would resign from the club at the end of the season.[12]

Steinar Nilsen took over the team, and Brann finished fifth in the 2009 league.

2010s: Rebuilding, relegation and promotionEdit

Brann Stadion in May 2013

The 2010 season was a poor season for Brann. On 19 May the team surprisingly was knocked out of the cup after losing 0–1 to the 3rd division (fourth tier) team Fyllingen. The head coach Steinar Nilsen resigned two days later,[13] and was replaced by Rune Skarsfjord.[14] In the 2010 league, Brann finished in 13th place, thus securing the last spot that avoided relegation or relegation play-offs.

Expectations for Brann were low ahead of the 2011 season, with VG predicting that Brann would be relegated. Nonetheless, Brann opened the season strongly with victories over reigning league champion Rosenborg and Lillestrøm in the first and second rounds.[15] Although the season did not continue as strongly as that, Brann remained a contender for a top three position in the league and the team also qualified to the 2011 Norwegian Football Cup Final by defeating Fredrikstad in the semi-final.[16] Hopes for a medal were dashed however, when Brann first lost the cup final 1-2 against Aalesund, and then the last match of the league, also against Aalesund. Finally, Brann finished in fourth place.[17]

On 28 July 2012, following his previous football team, Portsmouth going into administration, Huseklepp returned to Brann.[18]

On 3 December 2013 Swedish manager Rikard Norling signed a contract with Brann lasting until the end of the 2016 season, after the club decided not to renew their contract with former manager Rune Skarsfjord. With him, he brought optimism to the club as Norling had recently won the league gold with Malmø FF in Sweden. The 2014 season ended disastrously, however, with relegation for the first time in 29 years. Brann had a difficult year throughout and was on a direct relegation spot for most of the season. A crucial win over Sogndal in the penultimate round lifted them to 14th place (third to last, qualification spot), and a last round win over Haugesund ensured it, allowing Brann a chance of salvaging a berth in next year's Tippeligaen through a qualifying match against the challenger Mjøndalen IF who had finished third in Adeccoligaen. However Brann lost the qualifier after the first leg at home in Bergen on 23 November ended in a 1–1 draw, while the second leg away ended in a 3–0 victory for Mjøndalen. This result meant that Mjøndalen was promoted to the Tippeligaen at the expense of Brann who faced relegation.[19] The following season the team continued to struggle, and after immense pressure from fans, Norling was sacked on 27 May 2015.[20][21]

Two days later, Lars Arne Nilsen was hired as interim manager,[22] and for the rest of the season, Brann performed well, eventually ending on second place and ensuring promotion with two rounds left of the season. The day after the season ended, on 2 November 2015, Nilsen was given a three-year contract.[23]


Recent historyEdit

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Europe Notes
2005 Tippeligaen 6 26 10 7 9 43 32 37 Quarterfinal UC First round
2006 Tippeligaen 2 26 14 4 8 39 36 46 Fourth round UC Second qualification round Fair play
2007 Tippeligaen 1 26 17 3 6 59 39 54 Fourth round UC Last 32
2008 Tippeligaen 8 26 8 9 9 36 36 33 Fourth round CL
Third qualification round
First round
2009 Tippeligaen 5 30 12 8 10 51 49 44 Quarterfinal
2010 Tippeligaen 13 30 8 10 12 48 50 34 Second round
2011 Tippeligaen 4 30 14 6 10 51 49 48 Final
2012 Tippeligaen 6 30 13 3 14 57 50 42 Semifinal
2013 Tippeligaen 8 30 11 6 13 46 46 39 Third round
2014 Tippeligaen   14 30 8 5 17 41 54 29 Quarterfinal Relegated to the 1. divisjon
2015 1. divisjon   2 30 14 11 5 46 35 53 Fourth round Promoted to Tippeligaen
2016 Tippeligaen 2 30 16 6 8 42 27 54 First round
2017 Eliteserien 5 30 13 8 9 51 36 47 Fourth round EL Second qualification round
2018 Eliteserien 3 30 17 7 6 45 31 58 Fourth round
2019 Eliteserien 9 30 10 10 10 32 37 40 Fourth round EL First qualification round
2020 Eliteserien 10 30 9 9 12 40 49 36 Cancelled
2021 Eliteserien   14 30 5 11 14 38 55 26 Fourth round Relegated to the 1. divisjon
2022 (in progress) 1. divisjon   1 26 23 3 0 84 11 72 Promoted to Eliteserien


Brann in EuropeEdit

Brann's first competitive European match was a 2-0 victory (9-0 on aggregate) over Gzira United in the 1973-74 European Cup Winners' Cup. The club's most successful European efforts came at the 1996-97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup when the club advanced to the quarterfinals, and the 2007-08 UEFA Cup, with the club advancing to the Round of 32.

UEFA club coefficient rankingEdit

As of 8 Septembar 2022, Source: [1]

Rank Team Points
265   Viking FK 4.500
266   FK Haugesund 4.500
267   Brann 4.500
268   Vålerenga IF 4.500
269   Lillestrøm SK 4.500

Players and staffEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 18 May 2022[25]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   NOR Mathias Dyngeland
2 DF   NOR Ole Didrik Blomberg
3 DF   NOR Fredrik Pallesen Knudsen
5 DF   DEN Andreas Skovgaard
6 MF   NOR Vegard Leikvoll Moberg
7 MF   NOR Mathias Rasmussen
8 DF   NOR Felix Horn Myhre
9 FW   CHI Niklas Castro
10 MF   DEN Frederik Børsting
11 FW   NOR Bård Finne
12 GK   NOR Eirik Johansen
No. Pos. Nation Player
13 DF   DEN Svenn Crone
15 MF   NOR Kasper Skaanes
18 DF   NOR David Møller Wolfe
19 MF   NOR Sivert Heltne Nilsen (captain)
20 FW   NOR Aune Heggebø
21 DF   NOR Ruben Kristiansen
24 GK   NOR Markus Olsen Pettersen
25 MF   NOR Niklas Jensen Wassberg
27 DF   NOR Runar Hove
31 MF   NOR Isak Tomar Hjorteseth

For season transfers, see transfers winter 2021–22 and transfers summer 2022.

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
4 DF   NOR Ole Martin Kolskogen (at Jerv)
17 FW   NOR Filip Delaveris (at KFUM)
No. Pos. Nation Player
14 FW   SWE Moonga Simba (at Värnamo)
41 MF   NOR Mikal Berg Kvinge (at Grorud)

First team staffEdit

As of 6 January 2022[25]
Head coach: Eirik Horneland
Assistant coach: Erik Huseklepp
Goalkeeper coach: Dan Riisnes
Fitness coach: Helge Haugen
First team player developer: Hassan El Fakiri
Physician: Arne Instebø
Physio: David Tovi
Physio: Martin Flesland
Physio: Nicolay Moraland
Massage therapist: Bjørn Rune Skråmestø
Kitman: Raymond Sanden

Administrative staffEdit

Chairman: Aslak Sverdrup
CEO: Christian Kalvenes
Director of football: Jimmi Nagel Jacobsen
Chief scout: Per Ove Ludvigsen

Player of the yearEdit



  1. ^ a b "Sportsklubben enBrann - Ekte lidenskap har et navn". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  2. ^ "NIFS - Norsk & Internasjonal Fotballstatistikk". Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  3. ^ "NIFS - Norsk & Internasjonal Fotballstatistikk". Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Dobbelmesteren rykket ned". (in Norwegian). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  5. ^ Scott Murray (21 January 2011). "The Joy of Six: Newly promoted success stories". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  6. ^ Karel Stokkermans (17 June 2018). "English Energy and Nordic Nonsense". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  7. ^ - Der kunne du blitt helten, Erik ("There you could have been the hero Erik") VG, 20 October 2007(in Norwegian)
  8. ^ Brann er årets seriemester ("Brann is the year's league champion") NRK, 22 October 2007 (in Norwegian)
  9. ^ Olsen, Bjørn Thomas; Madsen, Elin. "Tapte så det sang". Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  10. ^ Châtelet, Christian. "Marseille squeeze past battling Brann". Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  11. ^ "Spanish sides take varied routes to success". Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  12. ^ "End of an era for Mjelde and Brann". Retrieved 13 November 2008.
  13. ^ Bergersen, Tormod (21 May 2010). "Steinar Nilsen ferdig i Brann" (in Norwegian). Bergensavisen. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  14. ^ Brakstad, Thomas; Benjamin Bye Åsali (22 May 2011). "Skarsfjord: - Spillerne må ha tunnelsyn" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  15. ^ Lyngøy, Roar (5 April 2011). "VG tror fortsatt på Brann-nedrykk" (in Norwegian). Bergens Tidende. Archived from the original on 11 April 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Rune Skarsfjord: – En gave til det bergenske publikum" (in Norwegian). TV2. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Aalesund ødela Branns medaljehåp". (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  18. ^ "Huseklepp Makes Brann Move". Portsmouth FC. 28 July 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  19. ^ Lyngøy, Roar (26 November 2014). "Mjøndalen ydmyket svake Brann" (in Norwegian). Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Norling ferdig i Brann :- Vi passet ikke helt sammen, dessverre". (in Norwegian). Bergens Tidende. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Rikard Norling er Branns nye trener". (in Norwegian). SK Brann. 3 December 2013. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  22. ^ "Nilsen ny Brann-trener". 29 May 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Her presenteres Nilsen-avtalen". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  24. ^ "SK Brann". NIFS (in Norwegian). NTB. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  25. ^ a b "A-laget". SK Brann (in Norwegian). Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  26. ^ "Mest lest - Brann". Sportsklubben Brann.
  27. ^ "Nyheter - Brann". Sportsklubben Brann. Archived from the original on 2013-11-10.
  28. ^ "Nyheter - Brann". Sportsklubben Brann.
  29. ^ "Bataljonen kåret Demidov til Årets spiller". Sportsklubben Brann.
  30. ^ Pamer, Anders (7 December 2017). "Lærte lederskap av superstjernen". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). p. 28.
  31. ^ Gullachsen, Åsmund (2 January 2021). "Lagets yngste er årets spiller i Brann 2020". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). pp. 30–31.

External linksEdit