And welcome to what I hope will be an entertaining blog for the foreseeable future covering the wonderful, wild and sometimes weird world of English football.
But who is this random Englishman writing on our lovely Swedish website, you might be wondering at this point? Well, let me begin by introducing myself and my love affair with your equally wonderful country.
My name is Jonathan and I am a football consultant, writer, scout and broadcaster. I help lower league players manage their career on and off the pitch (contract expertise, social media and branding) through a company called Future Global Sports and have worked in a variety of fields within football over the last 10-15 years. I was the founder of a well-known successful blog called Just Football many years ago, my entry point into the game.
From there I began to write for some of the biggest publications in England, such as FourFourTwo magazine where I travelled Europe covering the beautiful game and interviewing players such as Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann, and today I broadcast for The Guardian on the famous Guardian Football Weekly podcast, currently the number one ranked podcast in England. I have also appeared on CNN’s World Sport show broadcast worldwide.
I am also the co-founder and co-host of the Nordic Football Podcast, the number one ranked English language show covering football in Sweden and Norway.
“Wait” you might be thinking. “A podcast on Swedish football? From an English guy?!”
My love affair with Sweden began about 10 years ago now when I made my first ever trip to Sweden with some friends. I had such a great time partying in Stockholm that I decided to come back a few years later, this time to visit Gothenburg and check out the Gothia Cup football tournament.
A chance meeting led to the opportunity to me to move out to Gothenburg temporarily to do some scouting for teams back home and my company, looking at interesting players and so I threw myself into all things Swedish football, Allsvenskan, youth football and everything else.
It was an amazing period of my life and one I cherish dearly. One of my overriding early memories of this period, besides walking through muddy fields and icy hillsides trying to find club headquarters like Kamratgarden in the middle of nowhere, was a meeting I had with the chief scout of one major Allsvenskan club, where upon arrival I was offered a drink.
“What would you like?” I was asked.
“A cup of tea would be amazing.” I replied, still part frozen from my walk through a forest to get there.
What followed was the chief scout of this big Swedish club laughing in my face.
“Haha, you English!” he chuckled, before going to the canteen to even tell the workers there about my request. He couldn’t stop laughing as I fulfilled the stereotype.
It was a moment of warmth that made me realise how English I indeed am, always needing my nice cup of English breakfast tea to start my morning, and how others perceive us Brits and our relationship with a good old fashioned cup of tea. The best they could offer, sadly, was a green tea. Not the same.
When I returned to England I started the Nordic Football Podcast, which has kept my interest in Swedish football to this day whilst working in English football at the same time. I have always said I would one day love to come back to Sweden, maybe even to live.
But for now the next best thing will be to write for you about all the latest goings-on in England and the Premier League – perhaps the most popular league in the world – with some behind the scenes insight into what us Brits are talking about, which players and clubs are doing interesting things, as well as telling you about some young talents to keep an eye on every now and then.
I hope this will be a fun correspondence for you and I will be open to hearing suggestions for future articles. As you will know, Sweden itself has a unique love affair with English football, and you are lucky enough to be able to watch a lot of the games – whereas us over in the UK have broadcast rights issues that mean we can only currently watch a select few games a week, something which is becoming a bigger and bigger debate this season with streaming sites like Amazon Prime now prominent and growing their influence.
Through this column I hope to inform you, entertain you and at times educate you on what is going on back home. But for now we have a World Cup to get into!
Hopefully this gives you a bit more insight into the tea-loving, football mad English writer and how he has ended up as a columnist for fotbollskanalen, one of the biggest Swedish websites and one I have enjoyed for many years since my time in Gothenburg. It’s certainly a privilege.
Now let’s have some fun together.