Rikard Norling, head coach of the shamed Bergen football club Brann, won’t be losing his job after all. His players performed so badly this season that the club was dumped from Norway’s top league, but Norling and other club managers haven’t been fired.
At least not yet. After a lengthy board meeting on Friday, the day after the club lost a critical match to the small club in Mjøndalen, board members concluded that Norling and daily leader Roald Bruun-Hansen still had their confidence.
The club, which also was ashamed of the bad, even violent, behavior of some of its fans, will need to chop as much as NOK 35 million from its operating budget next year, though. Relegation to the first division of Norwegian football means revenues and sponsorships will be drastically reduced, so costs must be as well.
Brann fans were not pleased that heads weren’t rolling at the top of the club after last week’s embarrassment. Club chairman Rolf Barmen defended the decision to keep Norling and Bruun-Hansen on board, saying it was important that they took part in an evaluation of what went wrong this past season. Both men also expressed a desire to stay on, and be part of building Brann up again.