The situation is unclear, but it sounds strange if Magni has to go. He is the one who is football-wise the strongest of those in the conflict. He has been clear about the importance of a long-term view and not exposing the club to any risk, says supporter leader in Tigerberget, Kai Rune Karlsen, to Fædrelandsvennen on Tuesday.
Fædrelandsvennen learned just before the weekend that the Start board will remove Magni Fannberg as the club’s sporting director. He has been summoned to a discussion meeting on Thursday – the day before the match against Jerv at Sør Arena.
Letter to the board
It happens after a few turbulent weeks at the club. Among other things, the board held a board meeting of over four hours last week, where the internal disagreements and cooperation problems in the club, particularly between sports manager Magni Fannberg and general manager Terje Marcussen, were discussed.
Since then, the board, Marcussen and Fannberg have been silent about the situation at the club.
At the same time, several players and coaches in the club have publicly supported the sporting director. According to what Fædrelandsvennen is informed, the sports department must also have written a letter which has been sent to the board. There they expressed their support for Magni Fannberg, who has been the club’s sporting director since February last year.
– I am not going to comment on anything now, says chairman Ole Magnus Skisland on Tuesday.
Many supporters have recently reacted on social media with strong dissatisfaction and anger at Start’s handling of the matter. Kenneth Mayer, who is a supporter and member of the club, is clear that it would be a mistake for the club to get rid of Fannberg.
– I think it is a complete crisis if we choose circus and big words over competence and long-termism. Magni has rejuvenated the stable and created a sustainable culture. That is what we must continue with. We cannot fall back into old patterns, he says.
– Do you feel that you have enough basis and information about what is going on to draw these conclusions?
– We know what we know. If Magni has crossed the line and the board has no choice, well then they just have to do it then. I believe that we cannot get rid of someone because they are demanding or un-Southern. There is so much good happening in the club now, and we have to continue on that path.
A number of supporters have also called for an extraordinary annual meeting of Start to be called, so that the board will be overthrown – if Fannberg has to leave as sporting director.
Trond Aukland, who is a prominent Start supporter, says that he has spoken to several of the club’s members who no longer have confidence in the board if the sporting director has to leave.
– Among the members I know, there is great rage against what is about to happen now. If the board removes Magni, I and a number of other members no longer have confidence in them. There will be attempts by members to demand an extraordinary annual meeting and replace the board, if that happens, says Aukland.
– The choices Magni has made, I believe, are the only right ones for Start to become a sustainable and successful club. He is a competent sports manager, and a huge asset to the club. If we lose him, we are left without a sports manager and expertise in sports.
– I don’t doubt that Magni Fannberg can be demanding to work with, but we actually have to be able to handle that as a professional club. There is no shame for the board to turn around and do the right thing, adds Aukland firmly.
Supporter leader Kai Rune Karlsen, for his part, believes that this is not the way to go. He says he has confidence that the board will do the right thing.
– It is very dramatic to overthrow a board. We have elected this board ourselves, and we should have confidence that they make well-considered choices. They are the club’s highest body, and together they must resolve these conflicts.
Karlsen is supported in this by Tore Heidenreich, who is a KrF politician in the city council and a former board member of Start. He has also been chairman of the board of the Agder Football Circle.
– With my experience, it is too easy to conclude that this is the board’s fault. Normally, a board sits on information that the outside world does not know. I have confidence in them doing their job and taking the important steps required. I both hope and believe that they do too, says Heidenreich.