An important qualifying summer awaits as Sweden has slipped down to 28th place in the UEFA rankings. Now, the Swedish clubs qualifying for international cup competitions will share eight million SEK from the Europe Fund. The money from main sponsor Unibet is meant to help the clubs reach the group stages. Malmö FF, which will qualify for the UEFA Champions League, will receive the most funds.
“We all know what it means for our football when Swedish teams succeed in Europe. The goal remains to have more than one team in the group stages every year,” says Svante Samuelsson, Sports Director at Swedish Professional Football Leagues.

The Europe Fund is financed by elite football’s main sponsor Unibet and aims to help Swedish clubs reach the group stages in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, or UEFA Europa Conference League. Every year, Unibet adds five million SEK to the Europe Fund. If a club reaches the group stage in Europe, the money is returned 1.5 times, as BK Häcken did last season. This surplus goes to the next year’s fund, ensuring that future Swedish clubs qualifying for Europe get the best possible conditions.

The 2024 Europe Fund:

  • Malmö FF: 4 million SEK
  • IF Elfsborg: 1.333 million SEK
  • BK Häcken: 1.333 million SEK
  • Djurgårdens IF: 1.333 million SEK

The funds in the Europe Fund are distributed so that the reigning Swedish champions receive 50% of the pot to qualify for the Champions League, while the other three clubs each receive one-sixth of the funds to qualify for the Europa Conference League. In 2024, Malmö FF will qualify for the UEFA Champions League, while IF Elfsborg will aim for a spot in the UEFA Europa League. BK Häcken and Djurgårdens IF will qualify for the group stage in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

“As dedicated supporters of Swedish football, we naturally hope to see more teams make it to Europe, which will benefit the clubs both sportingly and financially. This year’s Europe Fund is the largest since Unibet became the main sponsor in 2020, and hopefully, it will help our Swedish teams as they enter the European qualifiers soon,” says Raúl Valencia López, Marketing and PR Manager at Unibet.

As Sweden fights to get more teams into the group stages and thereby climb the rankings, it is clear that Sweden is losing its best ranking year, which is based on the last five seasons, and thus drops to 28th place in Europe. This makes this summer’s qualifiers extra important for Sweden if it does not want to fall further in the rankings.

“Both we and the clubs are very grateful that Unibet enables the Swedish teams going to Europe to prepare in the best possible way. Although BK Häcken reached the group stage in the Europa League last year, Sweden scored very few points in the UEFA rankings overall. To be competitive ranking-wise, we need at least two teams to qualify for the group stage,” says Svante Samuelsson.

The first qualifying opponents for the Swedish clubs have been drawn. Read more about it here.

With a good qualifying summer, Sweden can advance many places in the rankings, but this requires at least one of the clubs, preferably more, to reach the group stage.

231130 Samuel Gustafson of BK Häcken during the UEFA Europa League football match between BK Häcken and Bayer Leverkusen on November 30, 2023 in Gothenburg. Photo: Michael Erichsen / BILDBYRÅN / COP 89 / MI0578

UEFA League Rankings Facts: 
The league ranking is based on the last five seasons of play in Europe. The higher the ranking of a league, the greater the opportunity to have more teams in the European qualifiers or to start the qualifiers at a later stage. Position 15 and above means more teams in the Champions League qualifiers.

UEFA League Ranking June 2024: 
26. Slovakia 16.625
27. Bulgaria 16.250
28. Sweden 15.750
29. Romania 15.500
30. Moldova 12.375

Sweden’s points over the last five years, which form the basis for the total: 
2020/2021: 2.500 (No team in the group stage)
2021/2022: 5.125 (Malmö FF in the Champions League group stage)
2022/2023: 6.250 (Malmö FF and Djurgården in the group stage – Djurgården advanced to the playoffs)
2023/2024: 1.875 (BK Häcken in the Europa League group stage)