|Full name||Fredrikstad Fotballklubb|
|Nickname(s)||Aristokratene (The Aristocrats)
Rødbuksene (The red shorts)
|Founded||7 April 1903|
|Manager||Jan Halvor Halvorsen|
|2015||1. Divisjon, 12th|
|Website||Club home page|
Fredrikstad Fotballklubb (also known as Fredrikstad or FFK) is a Norwegian football club from the town of Fredrikstad. With nine league championships and eleven Norwegian Cup wins, FFK is one of the most successful clubs in Norwegian football. The club was founded in 1903.
After suffering relegation from the then first division in 1984, Fredrikstad spent 18 years outside the top flight, before returning to the Premier League in 2003 after two successive promotions.
Fredrikstad stadion was FFK's home ground between 1914 and 2006. However, its facilities where outdated and the club moved to a new stadium on the other side of river Glomma. Their new ground is located in a former shipyard, incorporating parts of the old buildings in the two sidestands. FFK draw great support from their area and the official supporter club's name is Plankehaugen. More than 100 coaches filled with fans followed FFK to the cup final of 2006. The club's supporters also includes an Ultras section, Superas Fredrikstad.
Fredrikstad Fotballklubb was founded on 7 April 1903. While football in many older clubs was an addition to other established forms of sport, such as skiing or athletics, FFK was the first club in Norway to focus uniquely on playing football, and as such may be labelled the first true football club in the country. A lack of opposition meant this was in fact the third attempt at establishing a football club in Fredrikstad (tradition has it that the second attempt died out when the only football landed on a freight train bound for Moss). Finding someone in the vicinity to play against was still a problem when FFK was founded.
It so happened that the Englishman H. W. Kenworthy, who lived in the neighboring town of Sarpsborg, wanted to practise his native country's sport and travelled to Fredrikstad to take part in one of FFK's training sessions. Upon his return to Sarpsborg it was suggested that he arrange for a new club to be established. The idea was well received in Sarpsborg, and Sarpsborg F.C. was founded on 8 May 1903. The first match between the teams was played the following year in Sarpsborg in front of 600 spectators. FFK won the historical match 4–0. Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad went on to establish the first regional series, and inspired the founding of many new clubs in the region in the years to come.
FFK didn't have the red and white colours when the club was founded in 1903. In fact, they changed suits seven times from 1903 to 1927, when they finally found the one they are using now.
FFK reached the Norwegian Cup final for the first time in 1932. The semifinal against Mjøndalen was played at home in front of a record 9,000 spectators, and FFK won the match 3–0. Fredrikstad met Ørn Horten in the final, winning 6–1, and were thus Norwegian Champions. This signalled the start of Fredrikstad's first successful era, in which the club claimed four more cup titles before the start of World War II. FFK became the first club to win the new nationwide league, in 1937–38, and they won The Double the following season.
During the German occupation no organised football took place, as a result of all athletes going on strike in support of the resistance. After the war football was more popular than ever, and Fredrikstad set another attendance record against Sarpsborg in the semifinal of the 1945 Norwegian Cup. There was, however, little success on the pitch. FFK reached three cup finals in four years, but lost all of them. The break came in 1949, when FFK won their third league title.
The 1950s and 1960s were highly successful years for FFK. The club secured the league title six times – back to back in 1950–51 and 1951–52 – and finished in second place seven times. The Norwegian Cup was won four times. In 1957, a new milestone was achieved when FFK won their second double. As league champions in 1960, Fredrikstad entered the European Cup as the first team from Norway, sensationally defeating Ajax 4–3 at home and drawing 0–0 in Amsterdam, in the first round.
The town of Fredrikstad was in many ways an economic powerhouse in Norway in the previous century, first as a major supplier of machinery to the timber industry and then as a center of shipbuilding activities. At one point the shipyard in Fredrikstad was the largest in Scandinavia. It has been said that there was always an air of optimism surrounding the town and its inhabitants, and it was certainly reflected in FFK's playful and relaxed style of football, by many regarded as the most entertaining in the country. The club's first cup triumph in '32 even made Jørgen Juve, a legend in Norwegian football, state:
- "This is how football is supposed to be played."
Perhaps it was because of this relaxed atmosphere that the club was so successful, and also why it eventually fell into decline. After years of glory the club was becoming conservative, although they would not admit it themselves. Other clubs were increasingly turning to professionalism, while players from FFK still played football in addition to having normal jobs. Training regimes were becoming more rigorous than before, but in Fredrikstad they felt that training more than twice a week would ruin the joy of playing football. There is also the sentiment that, in light of the club's formidable history, newer generations of FFK-players were given too much responsibility, folding to the pressure again and again whenever things were starting to look brighter.
Fredrikstad was to struggle throughout the 1970s. They reached the cup final in 1971, but lost to Rosenborg, who were by now firmly en route to becoming a giant in Norwegian football. Two years later and for the first time in the club's history, FFK were relegated. In 1975, they were back in the highest division, where they stayed for two seasons before facing relegation yet again.
The elevator ride between divisions continued until 1984. The Norwegian Cup went to Fredrikstad that year, but it must have been a bittersweet success. The club was once again relegated, and this time they were unable to make it back to the top flight. In 1992, FFK were relegated to the third highest division, where they would languish until 2002.
Fredrikstad's comeback from obscurity is largely attributed to manager Knut Torbjørn Eggen, who introduced a degree of professionalism the club had previously lacked. During his tenure, from 2001 until the end of 2006, the son of Rosenborg's successful former coach led the team to their first title in more than two decades. In 2002, they were promoted from the 2nd Division to the 1st Division, and in 2003, their centenary year, Fredrikstad finished second, earning promotion to the Premier League. Although struggling to maintain their form through an entire season, Fredrikstad have managed to retain their spot three times, and in 2006 they won the Norwegian Cup for the eleventh time in their history. They came 2nd and won silver in the 2008 season, but relegated after a poor season in 2009 to Adeccoligaen. They eventually got promoted back to Tippeligaen through playoffs in November 2010 by first beating Løv-Ham 2–0, then Hønefoss BK with a stunning 8–1 goal difference over two matches.
Colours and badge
In the early years of the club, Fredrikstad changed attire quite frequently. The first kit, for example, consisted of blue and white striped shirts and black shorts, but was changed after only two years, to white shirts and blue shorts. In 1910, a green and white kit was adopted ahead of the club's first semifinal in the Norwegian Cup.
The seventh and final iteration of Fredrikstad's kit was introduced after a match between Norway and Poland at Fredrikstad stadion, on 7 October 1926. Fredrikstad wanted to use the colours of the Polish national team and a letter was sent to the Polish Football Association asking for permission to use the Polish colours. Fredrikstad received the following answer:
- "In Beantwortung Ihres w. Schreibens von Ende Dezember 1926 freuen wir uns sehr, dass Ihr hochverehrter Klub unsere Nationale Farben weiß-rot als seine Farben annehmen will. Gleichzetlich Ihrem Wünsche folgend, übersenden wir ein weißes Hemd und ein Paar roten Hosen"
- "In response to your letter of December 1926, we are delighted that your esteemed club wants to take on our white-red national colours. Following your request we will send you a white shirt and a pair of red shorts."
The Polish association gave their kit to the club and on 17 March 1927, it was officially decided that this should be the colours of Fredrikstad. Since then the kit has changed little in appearance apart from the socks, which went from being red and white to purely white in 1997.
FFK's badge, a streamer with a football and the initials F.F. (the original abbreviation for Fredrikstad Fotballklubb was F.F.), has remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1909. The streamer was initially green and white, but once Fredrikstad adopted their current white and red kit, the colours of the streamer changed as well.
The old Fredrikstad stadion was inaugurated in 1914 and was the first stadium in Norway with flood lighting. FFK's record attendance was set in 1956 against Larvik Turn. 15,534 spectators showed up for this quarter final match of the Norwegian Cup. The stadium's last renovation occurred ahead of the 2004 season, putting the capacity at around 10,500.
A new home ground was built for the 2007 season at Fredrikstad Mekaniske Verksted (colloquially known as "Værste"), an old shipyard in the centre of Fredrikstad. This was once the largest shipyard in Scandinavia, and the architecture of the stadium is such that two of the now defunct mechanical workshops, dating from as far back as 1870, are converted into stands at the sides. In addition, two separate stands are built at the ends of the pitch. The new stadium (with the same name, Fredrikstad stadion) have an all-seater capacity of 12,500.
- Norwegian Premier League:
- Norwegian Football Cup:
Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Notes 2003 1. Divisjon 2 30 19 5 6 68 37 62 Third round Promoted to the Tippeligaen 2004 Tippeligaen 10 26 9 5 12 42 54 32 Third round 2005 Tippeligaen 11 26 8 7 11 35 44 31 Fourth round 2006 Tippeligaen 8 26 8 8 10 38 46 32 Winner 2007 Tippeligaen 8 26 9 9 9 37 40 36 Third round 2008 Tippeligaen 2 26 14 6 6 38 28 48 Quarterfinal 2009 Tippeligaen 14 30 10 4 16 39 44 34 Fourth round Relegated to the 1. Divisjon 2010 1. Divisjon 3 28 14 8 6 53 37 50 Fourth round Promoted to the Tippeligaen through playoffs 2011 Tippeligaen 12 30 10 6 14 38 41 36 Semifinal 2012 Tippeligaen 15 30 9 3 18 42 59 30 Second round Relegated to the 1. Divisjon 2013 1. Divisjon 10 30 11 8 11 44 41 41 Third round 2014 1. Divisjon 6 30 14 6 10 35 26 48 Second round 2015 1. Divisjon 12 30 8 11 11 41 61 35 Second round Escaped relegation in the 6th minute of added time 2016 (in progress) 1. Divisjon 15 10 2 2 6 8 18 8 Third round
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Coach||Jan Halvor Halvorsen|
|Assistant coaches||Jan Tore Ophaug|
|Doctors||Tor Vedeler & Asbjørn Sorteberg|
- Egil Olsen (2005)
- Knut Torbjørn Eggen (2006)
- Anders Grönhagen (2007–09)
- Tom Nordlie (2009–10)
- Tom Freddy Aune (2010–12)
- Trond Amundsen (2012)
- Lars Bakkerud (2013)
- Håkon Wibe-Lund (2013–2015)
- Jan Tore Ophaug & Aleksander Olsen (interim) (2015)
- Arne Erlandsen (2015)
- Jan Halvor Halvorsen (2015-)
- Madsen, Birger (1978). FFK i 75 år: Fredrikstad Fotballklubb 1903–1978. FFK.
- Ellingsen, Odd; Sankey Hansen, Egil; Karlsen, Fritz; Karlsen, Sten; Poppe, Svenn; Svanberg, Sveinung (2003). Fredrikstadgutter våre veier: FFK gjennom 100 år. FFK.
- "Fredrikstadfk.no – Club History". Retrieved 27 December 2008.
- "NIFS.no – Statistics". Retrieved 1 April 2006.
- "100% football – Statistics". Retrieved 1 April 2006.
- Simensen, Jens Olav (2005). Godfotarven: Knut Torbjørn Eggen i samhandling med Nils A. Aschehoug. ISBN 82-03-23225-6.
- kl.12:37 (14 December 2011). "Tok med seg mapper på ni FFK-spillere – sport". Dagbladet.no. Retrieved 5 January 2014.