Sports Round-Up • FC Bestseller – wealthiest man in Denmark turns to football

Elsewhere, Denmark out of the ice hockey worlds, Clara Tauson falls short at the French Open and Brentford’s gang of Danes are ready for the Premier League

FC Copenhagen has long maintained a position as the king of Danish football in terms of flexing its financial muscles, winning the league regularly and making waves on the European scene.

But the tide could be changing, with a tsunami of a news flash coming out of Jutland. 

FC Midtjylland have announced that Anders Holch Povlsen, the owner of clothing giant Bestseller and the richest man in the country, has agreed to invest in the club.

READ ALSO: Magnussen and Povlsen lose big on F1 venture

New vision, new coach
Povlsen has reportedly decided to pump 125 million kroner into FCM to take over 25 percent of the shares of the club. 

The billionaire has been spotted at FCM home games in the past, and Bestseller’s headquarters is located in Brande, just south of Herning.

As part of the move, the club has unveiled a new ‘2025 Vision’ plan, which involves dramatically upgrading its facilities at the MCH Arena.

Povlsen, who has previously invested in former F1 driver Kevin Magnussen, is worth about 67 billion kroner.

In related news, FCM has presented Bo Henriksen as their new coach to replace Brian Priske following his move to take over at Belgian side Antwerp.

Bears champs again
Denmark’s flagship in basketball have done it again. The Bakken Bears won their fifth league title in a row and 19th overall by beating rivals Horsens IC 4-2 in the best-of-seven final series. Horsens had clawed back from 0-3 down by winning two in a row, but the Bears closed out the series with a 96-87 away win. The fifth title in a row ties the Danish record set by BMS from 1985-90. The win also signals the end of the line for coach  Steffen Wich, who has decided to leave the team and enter local politics. As coach, Wich led the Bears to 13 Danish titles along with the FIBA Europe Cup semi finals in 2018 and 2020.

Clara set to miss Olympics
Denmark’s new tennis darling Clara Tauson looks set to miss out on the Olympics in Japan following her 5-7, 4-6 second round loss to former world number one Victoria Azarenka at the French Open. The result means the 18-year-old Dane is unlikely to make the cut for the Olympics as she remains some way off in the world rankings. Tauson was 90th in the most recent rankings, but would need to shoot up into the top 56 by June 14.

AGF take final Euro spot
AGF Aarhus became the last team in Denmark to qualify for European football next season following a dramatic penalty shootout against rivals AaB Aalborg in a playoff. The game ended 1-1 but AaB subsequently missed three of their penalties in the shootout. The win means that AGF will be in the pot when the second round of qualifiers for the new UEFA Conference League is drawn.

AC becomes number 12
Andreas Christensen became the 12th Dane to win the Champions League when Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final on May 29. Christensen is also the first Dane to win it since 2003 when Jon Dahl Tomasson, Thomas Helveg and Martin Laursen won it with AC Milan. Other former winners are Peter Schmeichel (Manchester United, 1999), Brian Laudrup (AC Milan, 1994), Michael Laudrup (Barcelona, 1992), Jan Heintze, Ivan Nielsen and Søren Lerby (PSV Eindhoven, 1988), Lars Bastrup (Hamburg, 1983) and Johnny Hansen (Bayern Munich, 1973-75). 

No miracle on ice
Denmark just missed out on reaching the knockout phase of the IIHF World Championship in ice hockey after losing to Czech Republic on May 31. Needing to win, the Danes lost 3-4 in a dramatic penalty shootout after the game finished 1-1 in overtime. The Danes missed out despite having beaten Britain, Belarus and, for their first time in tournament history, Sweden. Losses to Russia, Switzerland and Slovakia proved to be too costly in the end.

Frank the Brentford tank
Thomas Frank has been named the Danish coach of the year following a historic run with Brentford this season. Brentford, which has close ties with FC Midtjylland and has seven Danes in its squad, won promotion to the English Premier League for the first time in 74 years. The Bees overcame Swansea 2-0 in the playoff final thanks to goals by top scorer Ivan Toney and Danish midfielder Emiliano Marcondes. The other Danes in the squad are Henrik Dalsgaard, Christian Nørgaard, Mads Bech, Mads Rørslev,  Mathias Jensen and Mads Bidstrup. Jensen and Nørgaard are both in Denmark’s Euro 2020 squad this summer (see below).

Under-21 Euro woe
Denmark were inches away from reaching a historic semi-final at the 2021 Under-21 Euros, but ended up losing on penalties to Germany. The Danes had taken the lead through teen sensation Wahid Faghir with 20 minutes to go, but the Germans equalised with just two minutes to go. In extra time, Germany scored quickly before Victor Nelsson equalised from the spot to send the game to penalties. Here the Germans proved too strong following misses by Victor Kristensen and Faghir. However, the goal by 17-year-old Faghir to put Denmark 1-0 up meant he became the youngest player to ever score at a under-21 European Championship.

Euro 2020 squad revealed
On May 25, coach Kasper Hjulmand unveiled Denmark’s squad for the 2020 Euros. The squad includes a strong contingency from the English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A, along with a few from the Danish and Swedish leagues. See the complete squad below:

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)

Frederik Rønnow (Schalke)

Jonas Lössl (FC Midtjylland)

Simon Kjær (captain) (AC Milan)

Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)

Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton)

Joachim Andersen (Fulham – owned by Lyon)

Mathias “Zanka” Jørgensen (FC Copenhagen – owned by Fenerbache)

Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese)

Daniel Wass (Valencia)

Joakim Mæhle (Atalanta)

Nicolai Boilesen (FC Copenhagen)

Christian Eriksen (Inter)

Thomas Delaney (Dortmund)

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham)

Christian Nørgaard (Brentford)

Mathias Jensen (Brentford)

Anders Christiansen  (Malmø FF)

Martin Braithwaite (FC Barcelona)

Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)

Jonas Wind (FC Copenhagen)

Andreas Skov Olsen (Bologna)

Mikkel Damsgaard (Sampdoria)

Robert Skov (Hoffenheim)