Norwegian football is no different from other European countries, building their business modells on clever work with sales of talent and bringing on new recruits from lower ranked teams, reserves in other clubs at the same level or just bringing in locals with a potential.
We have seen the likes of Rosenborg BK, IFK Gothenburg, Malmo FF and Molde FK among those top teams in Norway and Sweden building their success on the same platter.
Another unique “furniture of the house” is of course the head coach, being forsight and on the front foot as other clubs chop and change, their foundations from success had that in place. Kjetil Knutsen has been around since 2017, first hired as an assistant and in 2018 taking over the job as head coach.
Kjetil Knudsen, born and bread in Bergen, playing locally for many years and later working in different capacities of football, of course having his coaching badges in place as he build his career stone by stone. Over the years seen his work been appriciated and results coming along the line as the man born in 1968 took his steps carefully and without a top proffesional career as a player having to prove himself at every level without getting any free pass, as others in this industry tends to get from greater days as players at the highest level.
In his first year as head coach he guided Bodo-Glimt to a 11th place in the top flight, predicted to get a very difficult next season, but with a foundation of players in a mix of local talent, good experience and a number of foreign imports they managed to climb all the way up to a runners-up position. The belief in a system and modell of work was established. The club took further steps in their professional approach towards the totallity of football as a top club creation was in build.
They build on belief of system and integration of players as well as having a modell in place to allow players to leave for reasonable fees and with that money finding other players that either were a bit fringe or not really blossomed in their current environment.
The fact that they also managed to bring forward a type of play that worked well in Europe, recently showing their quality in the 3-1 win vs. Besiktas at home, you build belief and hope of this to be repeated season after season. The continuity of certain players, the head coach, the staff of other important people, makes it possible to repeat every action, even with minor changes season in and season out.
Bodo Glimt won the top league in Norway in 2021 and 2022, and looks to be winning their 3rd title this season as of today they are 6 points in front after 25 games with just 5 left of the season.
Bodo is not a place were you would think foreign professional footballers would move to improve on their careers, but with such a modell in place, they have managed to attract fantastic talent, especially from Denmark, with former AGF midfielder, 22 year old Albert Gronbak, being their biggest start at the moment.
A surprise was it to see three major players from the past league winning seasons return to Bodo Glimt. Three Norwegian internationals has in recent months moved back. They were all trying it out in other European countries, Fredrik Bjorkan and Marius Lode in Germany and Patrick Berg in France, but stays at Schalke (ML), Hertha Berlin (FB) and Lense (PB) never worked out, and they all decided to return.
Goalkeeper Nikita Haikin is no different, he also decided to return after a short term contract at Bristol City had reached the end. Haikin (27) is born in Israel to Russian parents, and also have lived long part of his life in England, playing for Reading and Chelsea at a younger age. He never got a chance to appear in the league for Bristol City, so of course a return to Bodo Glimt was seen as a fantastic opportunity.
We have seen this type of modell in place at other Scandinavian clubs being grand in the past. Rosenborg BK and IFK Gotheburg both estalbished their success on players being sold, or given a chance, to move out, then return if the adventure never became what they had in mind, and often becoming good additions again as they knew the demand and environment they were returning to.