Mads Dahm spent NOK 50,000 to save the club from bankruptcy.

Mads Dahm spent NOK 50,000 to save the club from bankruptcy.

Now the 35-year-old former centre-back sits back and thinks 'what if?'

– In my mind, I was still going to play with Len, says Mads Dahm to VG.

It's been 15 years since this last happened. Lyn-Vålerenga in Ullevaal was for many years one of the largest companies in the country Derby. On Saturday, the National Stadium is full again, and the two teams are back on the same level.

It represents a temporary end on what has been a long road back for Len. The way back from the chaos that began in 1999:


Businessman Atle Brinstad buys Lane. The club moved on the following year.


In many ways, the John Obi Mikel saga is the beginning of the end. Manchester United have announced that they have acquired Mikel from Layne. Some time later, Mikel claimed he had been tricked into signing for United. Several times the player disappears from the lane. Lin reports agent John Shito for forging Mikel's contract. In the summer of 2006, the player signed for Chelsea.

July 2008
<-July 2008

Brynestad Lyn sells for 1 kr to FC Lyn Oslo AS. Nearly 16 million in debt will be written off.

July 2009
<-July 2009

Lyn players are forced to take a pay cut. Many players disappeared from the club. The club is in a very difficult financial situation.

Fall 2009
<-Fall 2009

A rescue operation involving, among other things, several sponsors of other Elite Series clubs means Lin will survive. The club moves down and plays in the first division after saving the shares.

June 2010
<-June 2010

Lynn bankrupts herself. Players and staff are released from their contracts.

Bankruptcy in 2010 resulted in the team being relegated to the sixth tier. It took 14 years before the club returned to where it left the pinnacle of football.

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– That day was completely surreal. I couldn't quite comprehend it. There were some tears, Daham says.

He grew up in Lynn. He followed the club all his life where he finally played for the first team. So there was no doubt that he would try to help the club out of trouble. He was one of many players who entered with their own money.

Dahm in a match against Hamkam in 2008. Photo: Cornelius Pope/NTB

For a 21-year-old centre-back who had just bought his own apartment, NOK 50,000 was a lot of money.

– It was the savings I had at the time. “I had a strong desire to continue playing with Len at the top level,” says Dahm.

– How do you feel the money was managed?

– Hehe, no, it's been another six months. So I can be happy with that. But at a higher level over time, one could perhaps conclude that the process was not good enough.

What happened to Lynn?

Lyn Fotballklubb went bankrupt in 2010 and had to start over in the sixth division, a team very far behind in the Norwegian league system.

Who is Mads Dahm?

Mads Dahm is a former footballer who played for Lyn and later became a coach. He paid NOK 50,000 from his own savings to help the club.

Why is this important to Daham?

Len was Dahm's childhood club, and he felt a strong connection to the team. He wanted to help the club return to the top of football.

What happens on Saturday?

The centre-back has been left without a club, but not without interested parties. Lillestrom chose Dahm in the summer of 2010. There were seven matches for LSK at that time.

– Mads was an important reason why we got the results we did then, because without him we would not have been able to achieve it, as coach Henning Berg said at the time.

There is no more football in Lillestrom. Like Lyn, Åråsen was short of money. Daham's contract was not extended.

Meanwhile, Daham came to a realization.

– I probably played my best football matches in the LSK uniform. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I haven't gotten to know the club as much as I have at Lyn. It becomes easier to deal with pressure. “At the same time, I felt it was not appropriate for me to be there,” Daham says.

Raid in a match against Skeid 2 on Kringsjå in 2011. Photo: Marius Knutsen/VG

He returned to Lyn to play in the fourth division. When a club goes bankrupt, the player can feel helpless. But Daham also felt guilty.

– I was a player and participated in the relegation. So after bankruptcy I felt like I wanted to contribute in some way to bringing people back. I felt a great deal of guilt about the way things had turned out, even though I was just one of many. It feels like he was sitting inside.

– And to this day?

– Yes, I would say so. I have to be very honest.

do you remember?
<-do you remember?

Harald Ea was among those who wanted to contribute to Lin's financial problems before the bankruptcy. He invested NOK 10,000 in Olja Lyn's company and joked that he bought 250 grams of Mads Dahm and, more precisely, his testicles.

In 2014, he played his last match for Lyn. The club made its way to the second division. Dahm had the injections put away to keep the bad Achilles tendon away.

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Dahm went through the law and worked for a few years Legal assistant. He longed to get back into football and in 2021 he got a coaching job at his old club.

When Lin and Valerenga meet on Saturday, Dahme is busy. Today he is the coach of Tromsø G17, which meets Kristiansund at the same time as the derby in Oslo.

Olival Stadium 15 years ago. Lightning towards Vålerenga. Photo: Keri Lynn/NTB

Because in the end, Mads Dahm had to think more about himself, and less about Len.

– I had to think about my development and not be tied to Len. “I needed new challenges to progress as a coach,” he says.

Was your loyalty to Lin something you regret?

– This is a bit difficult to answer. It felt like the only right choice when I played. To return after the period at LSK. At the same time, I thought in the past that maybe this was not the best way for me to become the best footballer possible. “I feel in a way that my football career has not reached its full potential,” Daham says.

On Saturday, 25,000 people will get to experience the capital derby in Olival.

1,700 kilometers north sits a 35-year-old footballer, smiling that the club in his heart is back.

Want to read more about Norwegian football? VG's large club magazine about Tromsø IL contains 100 pages of good reports, stories and facts about the club. The magazine can be purchased at Our online store (free shipping!)

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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

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