How Daniel Kindberg transformed Swedish minnows Östersunds ahead of Arsenal tie and why he is considering investing in Hartlepool

Daniel Kindberg and a group of prominent Swedish businessmen are meeting in London this afternoon to discuss a potential takeover of Hartlepool United.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22 February, 2018, 13:02
Daniel Kindberg.

The Ostersunds chairman, along with four or five other high-profile Scandinavian investors, will convene at the Landmark Hotel in London, with a view to putting together a consortium able to lodge a takeover bid for National League Pools.

Pools is up for sale and the threat of administration hangs over the club unless a takeover or fresh investment can be secured. Here's a closer look at Kindberg and how he has transformed the fortunes of Östersunds.

Daniel Kindberg.

What is his background?

Kindberg, who grew up in Umeå and Nordingrå in Sweden, heads up the operation at Allsvenskan outfit Östersunds.

Kindberg, a former farmer, also spent 15 years in the Swedish army serving in both Bosnia and the Congo before moving into real estate.

Östersunds are taking Europe by storm, how did he manage it?

Daniel Kindberg.

Östersunds have enjoyed a meteoric rise.

Six years ago they were in Sweden's fourth division, playing in front of less than 500 fans. Ice hockey, speed skating and cross country skiing are the traditional sports in that part of the world but Östersunds have been making huge waves recently.

Three promotions in five seasons has taken them to the top tier for the first time in their 21-year history.

The club, which has players from Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and Iraq, has been gaining notoriety for their remarkable performances in this year’s Europa League.

The Swedish minnows, managed by Englishman and former York City defender Graham Potter, have made it through to the last 32 of the competition where they face Arsenal, the second leg is tonight.

They’ve already dispatched Hertha Berlin and Galatasaray so far in the continental competition.

Kindberg previously told CNN Sport: "Many of the players were discarded by their clubs - leftovers that people perceived as not good enough.

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"But when we put them together, in an environment like ours, they have become fantastic players in Europe.

"That is something for the billionaire owners around the football world to think a little bit about: 'How can we get more out of the players we pay such substantial salaries?'

"They are thinking 'we cannot develop and we cannot be better.' That's wrong. Players can always be better. They can always be much better."

The methods are at times unorthodox, with players taking part in Culture Academy workshops - including singing and painting sessions - when not training in a bid to boost team spirit and to take them out of their comfort zones.

What about their style of play?

"We want to control the game by having the ball and adjusting to all circumstances around the game," Kindberg told CNN Sport.

"For six or seven years we have focused on flexibility. Adaptability.

"That's extremely important; that's what we are. After the whistle it's up to the players. We find solutions."

Why Pools?

Kindberg has spoke about the "passionate" Hartlepool United support and knows the recent history of the club. Kindberg has a lot on his plate but he isn't put off the idea of getting involved at National League Pools

He added: "I know that they have had a tough economical development.

"They have very passionate fans and that’s very interesting. They were close to advance to the Championship a couple of years ago."

Speaking earlier this year, he said: "I’m busy with my job, other projects and Östersunds FK. It’s fun that people contact me about things like this, but right now I have to be very passive in the project if I decide to invest."

He told Swedish TV: "If I decide that it sounds interesting then I have to go into a due diligence process and if I decide to go for it then it’s just a case of a pure investment.

"But football is about heart and passion so I haven’t taken a stand about it yet."