Vålerenga sports manager Joacim Jonsson (48) is cursed after the content of a meeting between club owner Tor Olav Trøim (59) and the player group was leaked to the media.
Aftenposten collaborates with VG-sporten. Therefore, as an Aftenposten reader, you also get articles and services created by VG.
Vålerenga is in danger of relegation after 11 points in the season’s first 11 games. Only FK Haugesund, Jerv and Kristiansund have made it worse. Four of the last six league matches have been lost. None of them have been won – which has led to calls for coach Dag-Eilev Fagermo’s departure from Vålerenga supporters.
Last week, the billionaire Tor Olav Trøim was in the locker room and spoke to the players, something Nettavisen has written about. As the sole owner of Vålerenga Fotball AS, Trøim must have protected Fagermo and called for more winning will from the players. Sports director Jonsson was on a business trip to Spain at this time, but has received the media coverage of the case.
– First of all, I must say that it is fantastic that we have an owner who shows such commitment. It shows that he would very much like to achieve this. But that it leaks in the media is a pissed off. There’s one thing I really want to get stopped at the club. Such leaks must be smoked out. It will not happen, Jonsson told VG on Thursday afternoon.
Vålerenga’s sports manager also states that Torgeir Børven is no longer relevant for the club – at the same time as he confirms that a number of players are on their way away.
Jonsson will now find out who is behind the leaks to the media. The game group itself consists of 25 players and a handful of support staff, without it being known how many people attended the meeting.
– Things that are said in a wardrobe should not be quoted in newspapers. It’s an outing. I’ll find out who it is and how it comes out.
– What will happen to the person if you find out who has shared the information?
– We have to talk about this, and people have to understand why this should not happen. There may be some who want away from the club, says Jonsson.
Also read: Aron Dønnum from national team player to VIF downturn: – It is terrible
Trøim rarely gives interviews, but the “industrial builder” lined up last month during the event DNB Invest. Then he talked about two demanding years in the energy sector. In 2020 and 2021, values worth several billion kroner disappeared from his business empire, but the 59-year-old survived the storm and has since recovered.
– To put it mildly, it was damn good. I went through two years where the only thing I owned that did not move down was Vålerenga. Otherwise, it mostly went down. It was surreal to experience. There were days when you woke up where the only thing you looked forward to was going to bed at night, Trøim said with a smile.
Now he wants Vålerenga to reverse the team’s negative trend. Before the season, Swedish Jonsson was hired as the new sports manager. This summer’s transfer window combined with the team’s weak results means that Jonsson is under pressure to succeed in the player market in the coming time.
The VIF manager confirms that they have worked to bring Torgeir Børven to the club, but that the striker is no longer relevant for Vålerenga due to what is supposed to be too high a demand from the Turkish club Gaziantep.
Jonsson also states that Taofeek Ismaheel, Aron Dønnum and Ivan Näsberg are finished in VIF when their agreements expire next week. Fagermo has previously stated to VG that he wanted Ismaheel and so on, but the Nigerian is now returning to French Lorient after being on loan in the spring season.
In addition, Jonsson confirms that Vålerenga is in the process of selling goalkeeper Kjetil Haug abroad. At the same time, there is an agreement with Vidar Örn Kjartansson that the striker will leave the club this summer if there is an offer that both parties are happy with.
As far as VG is aware, Odd and Stabæk also smell of top colleague Henrik Udahl.
– It has been hectic from day one at work and it becomes even more concrete and hectic now with the opening of the transition window. This is not a job, it is a lifestyle, says Jonsson.
VG’s review of the Vålerenga squad says that a double-digit number of players may be relevant to leave the club either this summer or in the winter. The sports director admits that the situation is not ideal.
– In principle, it is never beneficial to make too large replacements. There is no optimal situation like that. At the same time, we have underperformed as a team. We are not very happy to have eleven points, so to speak, says Jonsson – and adds that they must have a goalkeeper, stopper and attacking player.
– How are the working conditions now?
– Vålerenga is always attractive as a capital club, but there is no doubt that it is easier if we fight for medals. If players can choose between a team that is in 2nd place and one that is fighting to avoid relegation, they are happy to choose 2nd place. So we have to start proving things sportingly. If we manage that, there are no clubs that are more attractive than Vålerenga.
– What resources do you have at your disposal?
– We do not have insane resources at our disposal, but we do have something – without participating in any money race. We have been in dialogue with Børven and the Turkish club, but there we withdrew because the club’s demands became too high. What we think the player is worth, we pay, but not a penny more.
– When can you expect to have new players in place?
– I would have been overjoyed if we could present someone for the week. We want to do this first and foremost for ourselves, because we need to bring in new blood, but also because it gives positive signals to the environment. It will show that we must be involved. We do not lie down and die even though we have had an ass start to the season. In situations like this, it is perhaps even more important to show action than when things are going well, says Jonsson.
The team’s next match is at home against Odd on Sunday at 20.00.