Fear and loathing in Western Denmark: New American club owners hit by scandals of alleged abuse and lack of knowhow

29 July 2021

Photo: Alamy Esbjerg fB players have accused new head coach Peter Hyballa of verbal and physical abuse.

Several Danish clubs have recently been acquired by foreign investors, including American, who see potential in the Nordic country.

But some have been hit by accusations they are out of their depth and lack the understanding of the European football industry.

In one club, a head coach hired by the new investors has been accused of abusing players physically and verbally.

Denmark's football association has launched a task force to assess whether to implement an owners' and directors' test.

Emil Gjerding Nielson nielson@offthepitch.com

Many have looked with excitement at the American investors that in the last few years have entered European football promising professional and sustainable strategies meant to take clubs to new heights. 

And in Denmark, where two clubs over the past year have been acquired by US groups, it's no different.

But for some, the new owners have more recently only served to confirm fears that foreign owners lack the knowhow and understanding of what it takes to run clubs that typically depend on strong local support and engagement.

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