To the north! Scandinavians leave Flensburg and Kiel | – Sport

Status: 23/05/2022 16:46

Just a few years ago, it would have been very unlikely that top players from SG Flensburg-Handewitt and THW Kiel would leave the handball league in Northern Europe. But times have changed: Aalborg Handbold and Kolstad IL are putting heavy pressure on the German clubs with their transfer policy.

by Christian Goertzen

Three German championships, four cup victories, five triumphs in the European Cup – including the Champions League as the crowning achievement in 2014: Without the Danes, SG Flensburg-Handewitt’s progress to a top address in handball would have been unthinkable. The geographical location just on the border with the neighboring country to the north was always a great advantage for the club, but it was also used excellently.

Danish top players have several times signed a contract with SG and influenced the team’s playing style. Jan Eiberg Jörgensen, Lars Christiansen, Sören Stryger, Michael Boldsen, Thomas Mogensen, Anders Eggert or Lasse Svan, who stop after this season, are just a few of them. The club’s Danebrog transfer policy also meant that SG Flensburg-Handewitt north of the border often ended up high in the polls for the most popular Danish team.

Scandinavians leave Flensburg and Kiel

Now, however, there is a risk that something will be turned around in the long run. It has always been the case that SG used top players in Denmark as well as in Sweden and Norway, but now it is going the other way. The Danish champion Aalborg Handbold and the Norwegian project Kolstad IL entice with great perspectives on different levels – and with great success. The consequence: Flensburg and also the northern rival THW Kiel lose excellent Scandinavians.

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The “Zebras” will lose their world-class goalkeeper Niklas Landin to Aalborg in the summer of next year, while the Norwegian back player Sander Sagosen will also lose to Kolstad. His national team colleagues Magnus Röd and Göran Sögard from SG have also been drawn there. The Danish international Simon Hald will move from there to Aalborg in 12 months.

That’s not all: the Swedish left wing Hampus Wanne is leaving Flensburg after this series – though probably not north, but possibly to FC Barcelona. And national team colleague Jim Gottfridsson recently stated in the Swedish newspaper “Aftonbladet” that he would like to leave SG before the contract expires in 2025.

THW captain Patrick Wiencek at the sports club © Screenshot

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It hurts so much because Röd, Sögard, Hald and Wanne “are all in the best handball age, because we helped develop them here, because here we gave them the opportunity to present themselves on the big stage,” said SG -coach Maik Machulla. “They have also developed fantastically, so we would like to keep them.”

Attractive tax model in Denmark

But how do Aalborg and Kolstad IL, a club that has so far been in the middle of the Norwegian league, manage to poach the best players from the German top addresses? At Kolstad, a pool of financially strong sponsors could be built with the vision of a Norwegian top club in Europe with national players from their own country. And in Aalborg, an ingenuity in Denmark’s tax system gives some of the country’s top players (such as Paris Saint-Germain’s Mikkel Hansen this summer) very pleasant advantages.

Only 32 instead of 56 percent charges

This will also be the case for THW goalkeeper Landin next year. Like Hansen in Aalborg, the 33-year-old benefits from a state aid program – the Researcher Scheme. As a result, the tax rate drops from 56 to 32 percent.

“Obviously, that makes the negotiations more difficult for us. And that’s why we certainly have a competitive disadvantage.”
THW CEO Viktor Szilagyi

For several years now, the Danish state has been trying to attract top talent from abroad or to bring home highly qualified Danish staff home. Requirements: a professional stay abroad of at least ten years and a monthly salary of around 9,500 euros during this period. Landin moved from Bjerringbro-Silkeborg to Rhein-Neckar Löwen in 2012.

“On the one hand, there is Denmark with a special tax. But there are also other countries like Hungary, where there are also very strong tax cuts,” THW’s CEO Viktor Szilagyi told NDR. “Obviously, that makes the negotiations more difficult for us. And that’s why we certainly have a competitive disadvantage.”

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Hendrik Pekeler, Niklas Landin and Patrick Wiencek (from left) from THW Kiel © imago images / Norbert Schmidt

After Sander Sagosen, the Danish goalkeeper is the second top star to leave the German handball record champions in the coming year. more

Flensburg Swan: Also an escape from high pressure

For SG professionals Svan, the heavy load of players in the Bundesliga also has something to do with the fact that many Scandinavians have been drawn to the north. “We’ve talked about it over and over again, but somehow people are not listening. The fact that so many players are leaving is perhaps a sign to everyone that we should look at it.”

THW circuit runner Patrick Wiencek sees it the same way. “It has been like this for years that we have too many matches that we do not get the regeneration that we would like. Instead of fewer matches, there were more and more,” complained the ex-national player of NDR Sportclub.

It’s extreme in handball. “It feels like we have a match every three and a half days, and then the World Cup or European Championships await in January. I can understand that the people who have played here for a long time want to go home again. their families to lead a somewhat calmer sports life there, ”says Wiencek.

Aalborg with more competitive games than THW and SG

However: In relation to the large number of matches, there is no difference between Aalborg and the best Bundesliga teams. On the contrary: The Danish flagship club must play at least 60 competitive matches this year, and 61 when they reach the final of the championship. And that despite being knocked out in the Champions League in the quarter-finals. Instead, the club participated in the World Club Championship.

SG comes – also due to the early departure from the DHB Cup and the lack of Final Fours in the Champions League – in this series “only” 53 competitive matches. In the end, THW will have 57 competitive games.

Wiencek: The quality of the Bundesliga increases the workload

Regardless of this comparison of the number of competitive matches, Wiencek emphasized the special strain in the Bundesliga. “You always have to give everything, because here – as it happened to us – you can lose to the penultimate team in the table,” said the 33-year-old. In other European leagues, top clubs could always rest players against weaker opponents. This leads to a lower burden for the players.

SG has already signed a contract with two new Scandinavians

In Flensburg, they will continue to be heavily dependent on the Scandinavian map despite the current bloodshed of players from the north. It shows the commitments for the upcoming season already. Norway’s August Pedersen is ready to replace Wanne, and Johan Hansen from TSV Hannover-Burgdorf – a Dane – is on the right wing! There are indications that the team from “Flensburg” will continue to be one of the most popular “Danish” teams in our northern neighboring country in the years to come.

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The handball team THW Kiel celebrates after the derby victory against Flensburg © IMAGO / Lobeca

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sports club | 22/05/2022 | 22:30

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