The Swedish league organization – Swedish Elit Football was born on Saturday December 1 in 1928 in Malmö under the name Föreningen Svenska Serien Division 1. In 1972, the name changed to the Organization Swedish Elite Football (Svensk Elitfotboll – SEF). In December 2018, SEF has its 90th birthday.
Swedish Elite Football is working professionally with their 32 member clubs in the top two tiers of Swedish football to actively create better sporting, economical and business conditions for the clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan.
The duties have been developed over the years. For a long time, SEF consisted only of one chairman who had in his work to be the club voice against the Swedish Football Association and to focus on development. In the 1950´s, television became a factor and SEF agreed that no league games could be broadcasted on live tv because of the fear that the audience would stay away from the venues. SEF also for the first time got the Swedish FA to pay out a World Cup bonus to the clubs because of the World Cup at home in Sweden in 1958 made only six matches possible in Allsvenskan during the spring.
In the 1960´s, seven out of twelve clubs in Allsvenskan voted to abandon the amateur rules in Swedish football and in the 1970´s, the first ever secretary general was hired.
In the 1980´s, Lennart Johansson became chairman of SEF for a short period before leaving for UEFA and in the 1990´s, SEF was part of starting both the Royal League and the embryo of what today is the European Leagues.
In 2000, Superettan was formed by the two existing Division 1 series, and SEF began seriously negotiating the tv rights deals for the two top tiers.
Since 2012, Lars-Christer Olsson is Chairman of SEF and Mats Enquist is Secretary General. A large part of the business today is the work towards becoming the Best League of the Scandinavia (NBL). This is done by having identified five areas of activity that serve as a benchmark for success, and the main focus is on improving the leagues. These five areas are the Arena experience, sporting development, economic growth, image and new media.
SEF also contributes to the preparation of the league schedule, which the Swedish FA then decides for Allsvenskan and Superettan, as well as the talent development project Tipselit together with our main partner Svenska Spel. SEF carries out a series of initiatives in communication to raise the image of the league and show everything that the football stands for – even outside the football field. Swedish elite football wants to show that we take responsibility for society and contribute nearly SEK 800 million to society every year. The strength of the Swedish elite football, in addition to the club’s own work, is largely defined by our supporters and SEF works close to the Swedish Supporter Union to improve this even more. Even around the IT issue, great progress has been made to improve service and visibility.
In Sweden it is a tradition to attend the league games in Allsvenskan and Superettan and the football would be nothing but the life and movement that lives in our stands. In terms of atmosphere, Swedish football often holds absolute world class – supporters and football in symbiosis.
CONGRATULATIONS on the 90th birthday – 90 years of the Organization of Swedish Elite Football since December 1st 2018!