Kristiansund municipality is match sponsor for the anniversary match KBK–Hødd on Saturday 1 July. Kristiansund’s mayor Kjell Neergaard has followed the club through all 20 years.
He himself played in KFK when the cooperation agreement with CFK was adopted so that KBK could be founded on 2 September 2003.
– There were contradictions in both clubs, but luckily it was a positive decision. I feel I have been on the whole journey to KBK, says Neergaard.
The mayor is at all the home games at Nordmøre Stadium, where he works as a volunteer and has an event before each game.
– I have had that now for eight years, and for me KBK has become an important part of my life. The weekends are about KBK.
Promotion when the city was way down
It was with the promotion to the Eliteserien that Kristiansund really got noticed in Fotball-Norge. Neergaard noticed this particularly well in his role.
– I travel a lot in my job, and no matter where I am, everyone wants to talk about KBK. The club has a good reputation, and everyone has positive things to say about KBK. It has meant a lot to Kristiansund and Nordmøre.
The promotion in autumn 2016 occurred at the same time as some negative processes were taking place in the city.
– KBK moved up at the right time, because we were a little far down. We had lost the localization of hospitals, Kristiansund was on the Robek list, there was an oil downturn where the city lost jobs and there were evictions. Then KBK came and gave us a boost. It has also contributed to cooperation in Nordmøre. KBK is around and contributes with football schools, and when I’m in other municipalities I see children in KBK uniforms and not just Rosenborg and Molde uniforms, says Neergaard.
One of the things he remembers best from his 20 years with KBK is the away game against Molde in the 2017 season, the first at the top level. Kristiansund won 1-0 after a goal by Daouda Bamba.
Then the Kristiansund mayor was thrown out of Aker Stadium.
– I was called down to the field to join the players in cheering, and I was allowed by a guard to come down. But another guard didn’t accept it, and grabbed me and threw me straight out, because I wasn’t allowed to be on the inner court. It was a fantastic experience.
The match is otherwise known for Bamba celebrating by putting on a red mask.
– For the next match, we cut out 4,400 masks for the audience, and the picture from the stadium where everyone is wearing the masks is also a big moment for me, says Neergaard.