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Mads Dahm spent NOK 50,000 to save the club from bankruptcy.

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Mads Dahm spent NOK 50,000 to save the club from bankruptcy.

The short version

  • Former Lyn player Mads Dahm reflects on the club’s bankruptcy in 2010 and the way back.
  • He paid NOK 50,000 out of his own pocket to help save the club from bankruptcy.
  • Now Dahm trains for Tromsø’s G 17 team and admits his loyalty to Lyn may have affected his potential as a footballer.
  • On Saturday, the Ullevaal stadium will be filled again when Lyn meet Vålerenga, and Dahm is happy to see the club back at the top level.

Sea view

Now the 35-year-old former centre-back is sitting and thinking “What if?”.

– In my head, I was still going to play for Lyn, says Mads Dahm to VG.

It has been 15 years since the last time it happened. Lyn-Vålerenga at Ullevaal was for many years one of the country’s biggest derbies A football match between two teams from the same city or area. On Saturday, the national arena fills up again, with both teams back at the same level.

It marks a provisional terminus on a road back that has been long for Lyn. A way back from a chaos that started in 1999:

1999

Businessman Atle Brynestad buys Lyn. The club moves up the following year.

2005–2006

The John Obi Mikel saga is in many ways the beginning of the end. Manchester United announced that they had bought Mikel from Lyn. Some time later, Mikel claims that he has been tricked into signing for United. Several times the player disappears from Lyn. Lyn reports agent John Shittu for forging Mikel’s contract. In the summer of 2006, the player signs for Chelsea.

July 2008

Brynestad sells Lyn for one kroner to FC Lyn Oslo AS. Close to 16 million in debt will be written off.

July 2009

The Lyn players are forced to take a pay cut. Several players disappear from the club. The club is in a very challenging financial situation.

Autumn 2009

A rescue operation involving, among others, several of the other elite series clubs’ sponsors means that Lyn survives. The club moves down, and gets to play in the 1st division after saving the equity.

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June 2010

Lyn bankrupts herself. Players and employees are released from their contracts.

The bankruptcy in 2010 sent the team down to the 6th division. It took 14 years before the club was back where they left top football.

– That day felt completely surreal. I couldn’t quite take it in. There were some tears, I remember, says Dahm.

He grew up in Lyn. Throughout his life he had followed the club at which he finally got to play for the A team. Therefore, there was little doubt that he would try to help the club out of trouble. He was among several players who entered with their own money.

Dahm in a match against HamKam in 2008. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB

For a 21-year-old centre-back who had just bought his own flat, NOK 50,000 was a lot of money.

– It was the savings I had at the time. I had a strong desire to continue playing for Lyn at the top level, says Dahm.

– How do you feel that the money was managed?

– Hehe, no, it was another six months. So I can be happy with that. But at the top level over time, one can probably conclude that the operation was not good enough.

What happened to Lyn?

Lyn Fotballklubb went bankrupt in 2010 and had to start again in the 6th division, which is far down in the Norwegian league system.

Who is Mads Dahm?

Mads Dahm is a former footballer who played for Lyn and later became a coach. He paid NOK 50,000 from his own savings to help the club.

Why is this important to Dahm?

Lyn was Dahm’s childhood club, and he felt a strong bond with the team. He wanted to help the club back to top football.

What’s happening on Saturday?

Lyn and Vålerenga meet for the Oslo derby at Ullevaal for the first time in 15 years. The match is sold out.

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The centre-back was left without a club, but not without interested parties. Lillestrøm picked up Dahm in the summer of 2010. There were seven games for LSK at the time.

– Mads was an important reason why we got the results we got then, without him we wouldn’t have been able to do it, said coach Henning Berg at the time.

There was no more football in Lillestrøm. Like Lyn, the Åråsen club was short on money. Dahm’s contract was not extended.

At the same time, Dahm had come to a realization.

– I probably played my best football matches in the LSK uniform. It is probably about the fact that I did not identify with the club to the same extent as in Lyn. It became easier to handle the pressure. At the same time, I felt that it didn’t feel right to be there, says Dahm.

Dahm in action against Skeid 2 on Kringsjå in 2011. Photo: Marius Knutsen / VG

He returned to Lyn to play in the 4th division. When a club goes bankrupt, a player can feel powerless. But Dahm also felt the guilt.

– I was a player and was involved in the relegation. So I felt after the bankruptcy that I wanted to somehow contribute to getting people back again. I have felt quite a bit of guilt about how things went, even though I was just one of many. It is a feeling that has been sitting inside.

– Even to this day?

– Yes, I would say that. I have to be so brutally honest.

Do you remember?

Harald Eia was among those who wanted to contribute to Lyn’s money problems before the bankruptcy. He invested NOK 10,000 in the company Olja Lyn, and joked that he had bought 250 grams of Mads Dahm and more precisely his testicles.

In 2014, he played his last game for Lyn. The club had played its way up to the 2nd division. Dahm had put in injections to keep a bad Achilles at bay.

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Dahm entered the law and worked for a few years as a paralegalA person who has a legal education and works under the supervision of a lawyer to gain practical experience. He longed to return to football and in 2021 got a coaching job at his old club.

When Lyn and Vålerenga meet on Saturday, Dahm is busy. Today he is the coach for Tromsø’s G 17 team, which meets Kristiansund at the same time as the derby in Oslo.

Lyn’s team in 2009

The last Lyn team in a derby at Ullevaal

Tyrel Lacey – Magne Simonsen, Vegard Gjermundstad, Mads Dahm, Jimmy Tamandi – Erling Knudtzon, Stanley Ihugba, Gøran van den Burgt, Fredrik Dahm – Davy Claude Angan, Jo Inge Berget

Show moreUllevaal stadium 15 years ago. Lightning towards Vålerenga. Photo: Kyrre Lien / NTB

Because in the end, Mads Dahm had to think more about himself, and less about Lyn.

– I had to think about my own development and not be so tied to Lyn. I needed new challenges to progress as a coach, he says.

– Has your loyalty to Lyn been something you regretted?

– That is a bit difficult to answer. It felt like the only right choice when I played. To go back after the period in LSK. At the same time, I have thought in retrospect that it might not have been the best way to become the best possible footballer. I feel in a way that it is a football career that did not reach its full potential, says Dahm.

On Saturday, 25,000 will get to experience a capital derby at Ullevaal.

1,700 kilometers further north sits a 35-year-old footballer, smiling that the club in his heart is back.

Do you want to read more about Norwegian football? VG’s large club magazine about Tromsø IL contains 100 pages of reports, good stories and facts about the club. The magazine can be purchased in our online store (free shipping!)

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