This book explores football culture, organisation and development in the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway. These countries represent an important case study in sport culture, policy and management, being shaped by unique traditions in their civil society and in social welfare and public policy.

The first part of the book explores the development path of football in each country, looking at how football arrived in Scandinavia and how it has been transformed from a voluntary civic activity into a professional sport while becoming closely attached to the global football system. The second part highlights key issues – including historical, contemporary and critical aspects – across three themes: professionalisation and changing practices; equality and gender; and supporters, audiences and culture. Written by a team of authors with a blend of experience as academics and practitioners in football, the book traces the contours of the distinctive Nordic model that occupies a prominent position in the global football system.

Shining fascinating new light on the relationship between football and wider society, this is invaluable reading for students and researchers interested in football, sport management, sport policy, or the history, culture or sociology of sport and for anyone involved in the game.

chapter |7 pages


Mapping Nordic Countries and Football
ByMihaly Szerovay, Arto Nevala, Hannu Itkonen

part I|68 pages

Changing Football in the Nordic Countries

chapter 1|14 pages

Tradition and Transformation in Denmark

BySøren Bennike, Rasmus K. Storm, Karsten Elmose-Østerlund, Nikolaj Schelde, Laila Ottesen

chapter 2|13 pages

Growing Participation and Slow Professionalisation in Finland

ByArto Nevala, Hannu Itkonen, Mihaly Szerovay

chapter 3|13 pages

Preserving the Balance between Amateurism and Professionalism in Iceland

ByVidar Halldorsson, Omar Johannsson

chapter 4|13 pages

Inclusion, Exclusion and Modernisation in Norway

ByArve Hjelseth, Bente Ovedie Skogvang, Frode Telseth, Pål Augestad

chapter 5|13 pages

Between Grassroots Democracy and Professional Commercialism in Sweden

ByRobert S. Primus, Daniel Alsarve, Daniel Svensson

part II|154 pages

Specific Issues and Themes

chapter |53 pages

Professionalisation and Changing Practices

ByBjörn Horgby, Christer Ericsson

chapter 6|13 pages

Football Companies in Sweden and Their Democratic Framework

ByBjörn Horgby, Christer Ericsson

chapter 7|12 pages

The Professionalisation of Finnish Football from the 1970s to 2000s

From Amateurs to Professionals
ByJouni Lavikainen

chapter 8|13 pages

The Professionalisation of Youth Football in Norway

Implications for the “Sport for All” Ideal?
ByAnders Belling, Frode Telseth, Pål Augestad

chapter 9|13 pages

Football Fitness

More of the Same, or a Path-Breaking Concept?
BySøren Bennike, Morten B. Randers, Peter Krustrup, Laila Ottesen

chapter |43 pages

Equality and Gender

ByHanna Vehviläinen, Hannu Itkonen, Mihaly Szerovay, Arto Nevala

chapter 10|15 pages

Five Decades of Women's Football in Finland

ByHanna Vehviläinen, Hannu Itkonen, Mihaly Szerovay, Arto Nevala

chapter 11|13 pages

Breaking Barriers in Norwegian Women's Football

ByBente Ovedie Skogvang

chapter 12|13 pages

Women's Football in Iceland

Don't Wait for Change, Just Do It
ByDaði Rafnsson, Hafrún Kristjánsdóttir

chapter |54 pages

Supporters, Audiences and Culture

ByTorbjörn Andersson

chapter 13|13 pages

Historical Rivalries in Swedish Club Football

ByTorbjörn Andersson

chapter 14|13 pages

The Development of Supporter Cultures in Norwegian Football Since 1990

ByArve Hjelseth, Hans K. Hognestad

chapter 15|14 pages

Nordic Spectator Studies

The Literature on Attendance and Satisfaction at Professional Football Matches
ByMorten Kringstad, Tor Georg Jakobsen, Rasmus K. Storm

chapter 16|12 pages

Ethnicity and Aesthetics in Swedish Football

Playing Like a Swede, Fighting Like a Kurd
ByTiago Duarte Dias

chapter |12 pages


Similarities, Differences and Future Research in Football in the Nordic Countries
ByHannu Itkonen, Mihaly Szerovay, Arto Nevala