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Billionaire lost NOK 400 million on football

Foto: Heko Junge (Scanpix)
Sist oppdatert:
Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke loves football, but his involvement in football clubs Molde and Wimbledon has cost him half a billion Norwegian Kroner so far.

Kjell Inge Røkke entered the scene like a generous uncle, saving Molde from bankruptcy in 1992.

His interest in football kept growing and the Norwegian bought Premier League club Wimbledon, planning to make it a major football club.

Success can not always be bought, though, and failure definitely costs money.

Wimbledon's drop fro Premier League was expensive and high salaries in Norwegian club Molde added to the misery. At the moment Røkke is paying an annual NOK 20 million to secure the running of the club.

"One can not invest one's way up when it comes to football, even though money plays an important role", head of Molde, Espen Silseth told VG.

At the bottom

John Fredriksen, Vålerenga investor and Atle Brynestad, Lyn owner, have both had great expenses in connection with football. Brynestad is said to have spent NOK 30 million on club Lyn in 2000 and 2001.

All three clubs were 'saved' by investors who believed they would top the Norwegian equivalent of the Premier League, but they are all struggling at the bottom.

Maybe the money was not spent in the right way?

"I think that might be a point. Of course we could have made different choices but is easy to day that in hindsight. Now we should try to become more like Sogndal, whereas we tried to be like Liverpool in the past", said Silseth.

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