FPL, Fantasy Premier League, has gone to TV, but it is changing fan culture – NRK Trøndelag – Local news, TV and radio

FPL, Fantasy Premier League, has gone to TV, but it is changing fan culture – NRK Trøndelag – Local news, TV and radio

Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard are competing in a 20-team league in England. Jonas Sand Labak is competing against many others.

As manager of Fantasy teamUncle without» The 20-year-old fought his way to the top in a competition involving nearly 11 million other teams from around the world.

Now there is only one round left in the Premier League. The BI student in Bergen knows this nervously.

-I have to play with my mind, not my heart.

That's what the best fantasy players do. Fantasy gaming has changed the way many people view and follow football.

Now, it's not your favorite team that you cheer for, but largely individual players from different teams.

Good points also in the penultimate round. He now has a 46-point lead over the next-place finisher in the table before the final round.

Image: Screenshot, Premier League silhouette

Choose the winning team

In Premier League Fantasy, you must prepare a team of players from different clubs in the English Premier League, with a maximum of three from the same club. When the Premier League round continues, the team you have assembled gets points based on the performance of each individual player.

Registration, of course, gives extra points. The same applies, for example, to helping score goals or keeping clean sheets. Yellow and red cards, missed penalty kicks and late goals are given as a minus.

In each round, you have to form a team that collects as many points as possible, but you only have a certain amount to buy players – and a limited number of exchanges.

Erling Braut Haaland is the most famous player in the game. He has been selected in as many as 67% of the approximately 11 million teams, often chosen as captain. The captain gets two points.


Erling Braut Haaland collected 200 points in this year's edition of the English Premier League.

Photo: Agence France-Presse

But what do you do when Manchester City meets your favorite team, Manchester United?

Sure, this could hurt the soul of a United fan, but if you have Haaland in your team, you'd probably hope he scores. Multiple goals are preferred.

Jonas Sand Labak is a Liverpool fan in every sense of the word. He's been around ever since his father signed him up for the fan club when he was 45 minutes old.

Liverpool have performed well in recent years, but when I prepared my team I put all emotions aside. But – I have to admit that when Liverpool took a big lead over Tottenham recently, it didn't matter if Son scored in the end. I included him in my fantasy team.

It changed fan culture

Shows now research This fantasy has helped change fan culture.

– Individual focus has become clearer than ever. It sells more than just mass focus in the media and in the marketplace.

So says sports sociologist Mads Skaug. He is a researcher at Nord University.

The trend toward individual focus is greater than ever. It's all about the individual players. From transfer rumors – to players' girlfriends. They are sold, both in the media and on the market elsewhere.

Mads Skoog

For Mads Skauge, Bodø/Glimt is “before eternity”. In fiction, eternal love is often lost.

Photo: private

Skaug believes FPL is a stroke of marketing genius.

-I usually say that football is the greatest culture in the world. Almost nothing means more to more people. With fantasy games, it also reaches those who weren't interested in the first place. Not least to make those who were only slightly or moderately interested become even more interested.

A stroke of genius

The game is free to join, but it draws viewers to the screen.

There may not be many people in Norway very interested in watching a match between Burnley and Fulham, but if you have a player from one of those teams in your fantasy team, interest increases quickly.

Jonas Sand Labak also noticed this.

– I remember sitting to watch Bournemouth vs. Luton because there were interesting players there. I would never watch that game if there weren't relevant fantasy players there.


Marcus Tavernier from Bournemouth celebrates scoring a goal against Luton. Could he be relevant to a fantasy team, he thought?

Photo: Reuters

This means increased subscription sales. In Norway, Viaplay has the rights to the English Premier League. Sjur Molven is Managing Editor for Sports at Viaplay. He confirms that the game helps increase sales of their products.

-Fantasy Premier League is very popular in Norway. It contributes to increasing interest and increasing the number of people watching matches and broadcasts.

Fans and supporters – and buskers

When sport sociologists and others research football and fan culture, they tend to divide the fan base into three types.

If you sat at Anfield and saw a spectator wearing Liverpool's new kit for the season, you could be pretty sure he was Norwegian and not a Norwegian, says Mads Skaug.

What researchers know is “a fan» It is largely a business client.

“There is a role for the citizen.”The supporter» distance himself from. The supporter He has a more fleshed out relationship with the club. They see themselves as more than just a customer. For them, the club is part of their identity.

According to Skoog, the most interesting category is what researchers call “Assholes».

– They care more about achievements than club symbols. They want to see the best matches. For them, it is not so serious who wins. Research shows that there is a trend towards this type of football fan among the younger generation.


Arsenal fans love Martin Odegaard, but despite his 173 points, he is only picked by 17 percent of FPL players.

Image: NTP

Norwegians are on top of the world

– It takes some time, yes. Preferably all days of Saturday and Sunday, and 2-3 hours on the rest of the week as well.

Jonas Sand Labak is not the only Norwegian to assert himself.

Aurora Folmo Myhr was ranked No. 20 in the world heading into the final round. She watches all the Premier League matches. The children's mother is a primary school teacher.

With a two-and-a-half-month-old baby, his football career as a player for fourth division team Funnefoss/Vormsund was put on hold. Next, it's time to dive into key stats and numbers about players in the Premier League.

– Manchester United is the favorite team in England. I understand that some people find it strange when you often hope that the other team's players will succeed against their favorite team. Dad actually gets upset.

Aurora Fulmo foal

The Aurora Fulmo foal is hoping to climb some places with the help of a “seat booster.”

Image: private

After Round 36, she was also upset by the presence of two Manchester United players in her squad. United lost 4-0 to Crystal Palace.

– I have to honestly say that I'm disappointed in myself for even thinking it would give a point, but you always have a little hope that the point will turn out in your team's favour. I hope you destroyed ten hags more than me.

I was more impressed by Jonas Sand Labak's performance than United's.

It's powerful and very impressive of him. At the same time, it's a bit boring to be ranked so high in the world, and the first place is the Norwegian.

Manu admires Aurora with his daughter

Little Alma Folmo Solberg dresses up as a ManU supporter, although mum Aurora has been bitterly disappointed with the team this season.

Image: private

Uncle without

The name “Onkel Blaa” testifies that Bergen student Jonas Sand Labæk has a heart in Stabæk. Another player who allowed himself to be admired was chess genius Magnus Carlsen. He himself was at the top of the fantasy game.

– It is very interesting for him to perform well, and one of my pleasures as a chess player is that he uses his head and not his heart.

Magnus Carlsen World Rapid Chess Championship Samarkand 2023
Photo: Lennart Oates / Lennart Oates

On May 19, Jonas Sand Labak and Magnus Carlsen will find out who won the Premier League title – and which Haaland and Odegaard rose to the top in the real version.

The Låbakk prize is, among other things, a week in England with VIP seats for next season's matches, a watch and a match ball.

But above all it is honor and glory.

Jurgen Klopp surrenders in Liverpool. You have proven that you know football. Do you take charge?

– Huh… No. Maybe it won't be relevant. It would probably require a fair number of licenses etc., which I don't have and don't plan to get. They are, in the end, two completely different things.

05/19/2024 at 08.14

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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