Dependent on the goodwill of several similar-sized amateur clubs in its Trondheim hinterland, Rosenborg divided up that share among Nationalkam and five other rival teams so that all benefited equally from what was then the biggest move in Norwegian soccer history. Nationalkam didn’t object, because they know the system is designed to ensure an equitable redistribution of wealth, which in turn causes the cycle to continually regenerate itself.
The logic is obvious enough. Any time the big club strikes it rich by selling on a player abroad — John Carew and Veggard Heggem yielded similar windfalls — it passes on a proportion of the largesse so the little clubs around it get something back. The feeder clubs then have no qualms seeing their best prospects snapped up by the likes of Rosenborg or SK Brann because they know everybody benefits down the road. This may be just one of the reasons why Norway’s flagship team boast a recent European history that includes victories over AC Milan, Real Madrid, Besiktas, IFK Gothenburg, Porto, Blackburn Rovers, Paris Saint Germain, and Athletic Bilbao.
That an Eircom League team couldn’t come within an ass’s roar of defeating opposition of that caliber is interesting considering the situation some of the country’s so-called professional outfits find themselves in right now. According to a story in last Saturday’s Irish Independent, the league that talks a great game at the start of every inevitably truncated European campaign is heading for serious trouble. It seems Stella Maris, one of those storied Dublin schoolboy nurseries, are demanding