Swedish professional and semi-professional football consists of 8 divisions, with Allsvenskan being the top-flight in the vertical. That dates back to 1928 with the foundation of the Swedish Elite Football Association (SEF), or Föreningen Svensk Elitfotbol, in its Swedish translation. Which was formed due to disagreements and strained relationship between the clubs and the Swedish Football Association (SvFF). Although worth to take note of, the SEF is an organisation representing the interest of the elite football clubs competing in the League and the lower division Superettan. While the SvFF is the administrator and organisers of the Swedish Football Leagues. However, the two organisations work closely together to further develop and strengthen professional football in Sweden. In such areas like sponsors, commercial value, and other partners amongst others. With that in mind, let’s traverse down and have a look at some quick history.

Quick history

Football as a spectator sport, though, dates back much further than the formation of any organisations. And it’s believed that football was first played in Sweden around the 1870s. Yet, it was not until the 1890s that an organised format of Leagues saw the light. In fact, the first Swedish champion club was not crowned before 1896. Followed by the start of the nation’s first international debut in 1908. That also marks the early days of a national League in 1910. That brings us to the relative modern time of 1924 and the birth of the Allsvenskan and the two lower division’s 2 and 3. However, it took some years before the status became official, that happen in 1928 as we previously disclosed. Also worth to know, Sweden is one of the few countries in Europe that have had a consecutive run (94 years) of the League since its formation.

Allsvenskan Table

How many teams include in the Allsvenskan?

From its early days in 1924, Allsvenskan was introduced with 12 teams. That persisted for almost 50 years, more precise until 1972. Where 1973 season kicked-off with 14 teams. That just lasted until the end of the 1981 season. Only to get diminished back to 12 teams between 1982 to 1990. That once more saw a drop of teams to 10 for within 1991 to 1992. However, the number got strengthen back to 14 for the years 1993 to 2007. That leads us to the structure of 16 clubs from 2008 to the current time. Plus, not only has the number of competing clubs changed from its founding days in 1924. The way a season plays has also seen some drastic changes. By which we will explore more to detail in the next subject.

A season of Allsvenskan

If we go back as far as the formation of Allsvenskan in 1924, a typical season started in autumn and reaching its culmination in the spring. Meaning that a season stretched over two years, consequently, all reference to a season working on autumn to spring timeline is named like 1924/25. However, from season 1959 and onwards the order was reversed and the season kicked-off in spring instead. Telling us that a complete season after the change plays on one calendar year. And to this day, every new season normally starts in March or the beginning of April. That concludes in November of the same year. That plays on a normal double round-robin system, one home game and one away match, for a total of 30 games. And the end a season the overall point leader will bring home the win and the trophy, the Lennart Johanssons Pokal.

Who owns the League?

The duo SEF and SvFF might be the government body controlling the League and its function. Although it’s not as simple as one owner. In fact, not even all clubs in Swedish professional football operates in company structure with shares on a monetary value. Where most of the clubs operate on an association platform basis. Although some clubs do have private investors. For instance, in 2019 that Zlatan Ibrahimović, made an investment in the AEG entertainment company by acquiring 50% of the company’s assets in the football club Hammarby. Plus, from season 2020 the bookmaker Unibet will be the main sponsor. Not only for Allsvenskan but Superettan as well. That according to a public statement, will stretch over 12 years.

Allsvenskan competition champions

During its course of existence, no club has seen through all the 94 seasons. The team coming closes to the number is AIK with 91 complete seasons. However, even with its many entries to Allsvenskan, AIK doesn’t make the top 3 competition champions list. In fact, first place goes to Malmö FF with 23 titles (1943/44, 1948/49, 1949/50, 1950/51, 1952/53, 1965, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2004, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). And the second position is in fact split between 2 teams, IFK Göteborg (1934/35, 1941/42, 1957/58, 1969, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1982, 1984, 2007), and IFK Norrköping (1942/43, 1944/45, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1951/52, 1955/56, 1956/57, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1992, 2015) and there 13 wins. But, if we need to separate 2nd from 3rd position, IFK Norrköping has better participation versus win ratio, 79 seasons against IFK Göteborg’s 87.allsvenskan

Extraordinary moments in Allsvenskan

The player that made the most appearances in Allsvenskan is the former goalkeeper Sven Andersson that manned the goal post for 431 games between 1981 to 2001. But what’s more impressive is Malmö FF’s unbeaten streak. In fact, for season 1949/50 they played 49 games without losing once, by which the won 41 and drew 8. Now, although it’s not a proud moment for Billingsfors IK, it has to count for a moment, maybe not extraordinary, yet a moment. Where they did not manage to produce one single win in its only appearance in Allsvenskan in 1946/47. With a standing record of 3 draws and 19 losses across 22 games.

Top goal scorers and record keepers in Allsvenskan

To find the number one goal scorer in Allsvenskan, we need to travel to the late 1920s. In fact, all top 3 position occupies by the early days of football. And coming in on the number one spot we have Sven Jonasson, where he produced 252 goals during his career. The runner-up is Carl-Erik Holmberg, with his 194 recorded goals. And finally, we have Filip Johansson and his 182 successful finishes.

Live viewership and the home audience

Roughly there are 8,500 people on the average per game in Allsvenskan. Where the top 3 clubs split around 20,000 tickets sold. That is not even making a dent in the overall capacity of the stadiums. Where any given season has the seated space for 265,000 to 280,000, depending on the current team in Allsvenskan. However, reports indicated that there are millions tuning in from a digital platform. And recent agreements have been put in place to attract an even bigger remote viewer audience with prices starting as low as £25 a month for full access to the League.

Can you place bets on Allsvenskan?

With the main sponsor being a bookmaker, you can most certainly find odds on Allsvenskan as well as on the second division, Superettan. And you should expect a market full of odds, like the first goalscorer, cornet bets, and clean sheet amongst others. But, to be sure to get the full vertical of odds, it might be a good idea to look further into a sportsbook operator that has a strong presence in the Nordic countries. As such, you will definitely find betting bonuses to take part in when a season of the League is about to start.