In 2022 Sweden got two clubs in the group stage in Europe, something that is almost necessary if Sweden wants to be able to advance in the UEFA league ranking. 2023 is the time to try to repeat or surpass that effort. SEK 7 million from the so-called European Fund are available as help on the way.
“We are happy if we can be a contributing part in Swedish clubs succeeding in reaching Europe. It is incredibly important for the development of Swedish football, both sportingly and financially”, says Viktor Tjernström, Acting Head of Sponsorship at Unibet.
The four Swedish clubs that qualified for this summer’s European qualifiers share SEK 7 million. The money comes from the so-called European Fund, which is financed by elite football’s main sponsor Unibet. The European Fund are there to help Swedish clubs reach a group stage in the Champions League, the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.
“We all know what it means for our football with Swedish teams succeeding in Europe. Both us and the clubs are very grateful that Unibet makes it possible for the Swedish teams that are going to Europe to be able to prepare in the absolute best way”, says Svante Samuelsson, sports manager at Swedish Professional Football Leagues regarding the European Fund.
Every year, Unibet fills the European Fund with SEK 5 million. Money that must be paid back 1.5 times if a team reaches a group stage in Europe, something that both Malmö FF and Djurgårdens IF did in 2022. The surplus is then added to next year’s fund so that future Swedish clubs that qualify for Europe will have the best possible conditions to make it through the qualifiers.
The money in the European Fund is distributed so that the reigning Swedish champions get 50% of the pot to qualify for the Champions League, while the other three clubs each get 1/6 of the money to qualify for the Europa Conference League. In 2023, BK Häcken qualifies for the UEFA Champions League, while Djurgårdens IF, Hammarby IF and Kalmar FF will try to reach a place in a group stage in the UEFA Europa Conference League. This year, the European Fund’s pot is a total of SEK 7 million.
The European Fund of 2023:
BK Häcken: SEK 3.5 million
Djurgården IF: SEK 1,167 million
Hammarby IF: SEK 1,167 million
Kalmar FF: SEK 1,167 million
“A major goal with Unibet’s sponsorship is for Swedish elite football to be as successful as possible. The European Fund is one of the initiatives towards that goal. There is a financial upside for the teams that make it through a couple of qualifying stages or make it to the group stage, but until then it puts demands on the economy with travel and the need for a wider squad. We at Unibet hope that these millions from the European Fund will be able to help a bit on that journey”, says Viktor Tjernström.
Sweden is currently in 23rd place in UEFA’s league rankings, but with a good summer can advance many positions in the rankings, but then group play is required for at least one of the clubs, preferably more.
The Swedish clubs’ opposition in the European qualifiers will be drawn on June 20-21.
The UEFA league ranking:
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 include more teams in the European qualifiers or to start the qualifiers at a later stage. Place 15 and above means more teams qualify for the Champions League.
UEFA league rankings June 2023:
- Israel 25,000
- Cyprus 24,475
- Sweden 23,750
- Poland 20,750
- Hungary 20,625
Sweden’s score in the past five years, which is the basis for the total:
2018/2019: 4,125 (Malmö FF advanced from EL group stage – knocked out by Chelsea)
2019/2020: 5,750 (Malmö FF advanced from EL group stage – knocked out by Wolfsburg)
2020/2021: 2,500 (No team in group stage)
2021/2022: 5,125 (Malmö FF into the Champions League group stage)
2022/2023: 6,250 (Malmö FF and Djurgården to group stage – Djurgården through to playoffs)