STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish women’s champion Göteborg is dissolving its soccer team, less than two weeks after being eliminated from the Women’s Champions League, saying it can no longer compete financially with major European clubs.
Göteborg does not have a men’s team and said Tuesday that it is unable to compete at the elite level when major Swedish and European clubs have started spending more money on their women’s teams.
“To be able to compete internationally I’m convinced that women’s football needs to be integrated as an equal part, and be given the same resources as men’s football, in an elite club,” chairman Peter Bronsman said. “Of course it’s a tough decision for us to take in the short term, but over the long term it’s definitely the right decision.”
With clubs like Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and others “having realized the value of women’s football … they are making large investments and have given women’s football resources that it’s impossible for us to match,” the club said in a statement.
The club, which was funded by the sponsorship of a local brewery, said it will not defend its Swedish league title next year. The decision comes after the team lost to Manchester City in the round of 32 of the Champions League this month.
The club said it would continue its youth activities, but the decision means several Swedish national team players are suddenly without a team. Göteborg said it would actively help its players find new teams.
Göteborg won its first domestic league title this year, having finished second four times, and also won the Swedish Cup three times.
“For almost 20 years, we have developed and driven women’s football forward in Göteborg and Sweden,” Bronsman said.
American forward Christen Press is among the internationals who have played for Göteborg.
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