The trend that all Swedes have been divided into a top half and a bottom half where the gap between 7th IFK Gothenburg and 8th Elfsborg is large (right now nine points) has been clear the second half of the season. Apart from Norrköping, it is a “big city vs rural” phenomenon, where Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö have stuck away from other cities.
But if we look more closely at the table, the difference between the absolute top and the absolute bottom becomes even clearer. Hammarby, Malmö FF, Djurgården and AIK currently have 59 points each, which is 236 points while the four bottom places with Kalmar, Sundsvall, AFC and Falkenberg total 81 points. The difference is 155 points. (It could be a coma to score 158 points if Djurgården wins against IFK Gothenburg tonight).The gap has never been bigger
Never before since 2008, when Allsvenskan was redirected to include 16 teams, has it scored more than 155 points with two innings remaining. Never during these years have the four best teams had more points than 236 and never the four worst ones had less points than 81 points. In 2010, the gap was smallest, when it distinguished 109 points between the top quartet and the four worst. 2015 was the year that was the most uneven before this year. Then the top four teams had 231 points while the four worst had 85 points.
- The fact that there is a record gap this year is probably because both the top teams have been unusually good this year and the bottom teams have been worse than they usually are, says SVT's Daniel Nannskog, who in a larger time perspective, believes there will be an even clearer limit between big cities and smaller cities, between the top teams and the bottom teams in Allsvenskan.
"The top team has a lot more money, it's that simple," says Nannskog, who has a number of reasons why it has become so."Economic muscle determines"
Public figures, sharper sports executives, European games and returning foreign pros are some of the reasons Nannskog likes to see.
- The economic muscles that the Metropolitan Act has come for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is about audience figures. Just look at the big numbers we see on Tele2 and compare it to, for example, Falkenberg. A lot of money is being withdrawn, says Nannskog, who believes that the public trend benefits the Metropolitan Act more than ever.
One aspect that has also given the Metropolitan Act an advantage in recent years is that it has recruited really good sports managers.
- Yes, they are sharper than before. They succeed in recruiting in a different way now. They manage to recruit players who can handle the press to play in these clubs."Players used to bigger cities"
Nannskog believes that returning home professionals more often now choose to go to the clubs in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
- First and foremost it is about the financial, but I think it can also be about the players perhaps becoming accustomed to living in larger cities in Europe.
- Sebastian Larsson, for example, could go to Eskilstuna or Marcus Antonsson to Kalmar but I think it attracts players that these teams in the big cities go for gold, when they established themselves as stable teams at the top.
The fact that the big teams are moving away also depends a lot on the audience, not only in the form of the money they bring in but also, how they raise the players.
- You want to be in association with that crowd pressure on the stand. To play in front of 3000 or 5000 in Borås or to play in front of 29,000 on Tele2. Of course, it attracts with the crowd pressure and interest around the club, says Nannskog.Lifestyle may affect
Nannskog also believes that today's society with social media and a special lifestyle among the foreign professionals has an effect on how the players choose when they come home to Sweden.
- They may have wives who want to live in a larger city with the range it offers instead of moving to Borås or Kalmar. It's a slightly different climate today with Instagram blogging here and there. It really is. It's a lifestyle simply to be in a bigger city with more choices, Nannskog concludes.