Baxter on Malmo short list... No decision on Syrianska-AIK match... AIK in financial quagmire... Changes on the National Team.
Baxter on Malmö short list
Malmö FF has set it sights on Stuart Baxter as the replacement for out-going head coach Roland Nilsson.
Baxter, 60, is currently a technical advisor to AIK. He said earlier this year he would remain open to any offers but also stressed he wasn’t in any hurry to return to coaching. “It has to be the right situation for me and my family,” he said.
Malmö, however, is growing increasingly desperate to find a replacement for Nilsson, who takes over as head coach of FC Copenhagen in July. The fact their manager is a lame duck is not lost on the players and sports director Per Ågren said he believes the situation is beginning to affect the product on the field.
“It’s not ideal for anyone.” Ågren said. “Obviously, we want to find a solution as soon as possible.”
Malmö has dropped two straight games. Its offense, which led the league in scoring last season, has sputtered of late, going scoreless for 205 minutes over a three-game span. While Ågren didn’t blame Nilsson, he didn’t exonerate the current manager either.
“I really can’t explain what is happening,” he said.
Former Malmö star Anders Andersson was quick to endorse Baxter as the club’s choice to replace Nilsson.
“Malmö is a club with talented young players,” Andersson said. “He would have plenty to build with and to develop. He could develop it well, I am convinced.”
No decision on Syrianska-AIK match
The Disciplinary Committee of the Svenska Fotbollsförbundet has yet to render a decision in the wake of the abandoned Syrianska-AIK match.
The committee was to meet sometime the week of May 2 to go over the official reports from the referees who ordered both teams off the field April 25 after fans threw explosives on the pitch, injuring an assistant referee.
The committee also plans to review videos from the match, several of which show AIK fanes throwing explosives and flares at Syrianska fans and onto the field. If the committee finds AIK at fault, it could force AIK to forfeit the game, pay a fine, deduct points or a combination of all three. Syrianska also faces possible sanctions for its lack of security at Södertälje Football Arena, the team’s home ground.
Earlier report: A new round of fan violence could cost AIK its place in the Allsvenskan
AIK in financial quagmire
AIK’s bad luck doesn’t seem to end.
Just a week after fan violence halted its match against Syrianska, AIK announced it was six million kronor ($973,376) in the hole for the first quarter of 2011. Last year, AIK was 500,000 kronor in the black.
“It’s difficult but it’s not a crisis,” said AIK club president Annela Yderberg. “We have taken many steps to correct our financial situation and we are investing in stars of the future.”
“Still, there is a lot work to be done.”
AIK has pinned much of financial hopes on the potential sale of Mohamed and Ibrahim Bangura. Combined, the two could bring in more than $2 million in transfer fees, but would also signal at club management is giving up any hope of winning a medal this year.
Yderberg asked for calm among AIK’s notoriously difficult fans.
“We said before the season that we would sell players, so it should be expected,” Yderberg said. “Our goal is to be back on the plus side by 2013.”
Coach wants Ranegie on full national team
BK Häcken head coach Peter Gerhardssobn believes striker Mattias Ranegie deserves a shot at playing for the Swedish national team.
Ranegie leads the Allsvenskan in scoring with six goals in six matches. Gerhardsson said his star goal scorer, “is technical and works very hard.” The Häcken boss said he believes Sweden needs a true center forward “and Mattias would do very well there in that position. It is similar to what he plays with the club.”
Ranegie has played a couple of games for Sweden in January when head coach Erik Hamrén traditionally looks at Scandinavian-based players. He made his Sweden debut on Jan 20, 2010 against Oman.
If Ranegie plays for the full team, it would be a reversal of sorts for Hamrén, who tends to favor overseas players over those in the domestic league. That policy didn’t put off Gerhardsson who said he would still take his player, “Over any other striker in the league.”
El Kabir on way to Italy
Mjällby goal scoring machine Mustafa El Kabir is all but set to change his black-and-yellow jersey in Solvesborg for a blue-and-red shirt in Cagliari, Italy.
The striker moved to Mjällby from NEC in Holland last year after the Dutch club cut him for “disciplinary reasons.” El Kabir was born in Morocco but is a Dutch citizen. He joined Mjällby for free and immediately earned the nickname of the “new Zlatan,” a reference to Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He has 12 goals in 27 matches for Mjällby. He scored twice in MAIK’s win over Norrköping May 1.
Cagliari president Massimo Cellino announced on the club’s Web site that El Kabir would join the Serie A side during the summer. Neither club would disclose the transfer fee Cagliari paid for the striker.
by Chipp Reid