Once upon a time football in the Swedish City of Gothenburg was about three clubs.
The so called Gothenburg Alliance (Göteborgsalliansen) was made up of GAIS, IFK Göteborg and Örgryte.
Then along came a team from Hisingen – Bollklubben Häcken.
With a population of around 130,000, Hisingen is one of the most populous islands in Sweden.
Extensively urbanised the island was home to the largest shipbuilding centre in the world; the car maker Volvo and the Port of Gothenburg.
Crossing the Hisingsbron is not exactly stepping into a different world – Hisingen is an island but not in the same way that Malta is an island. Crossing the bridge from the ‘mainland’ takes 10 minutes (as long as a boat is not passing underneath) and only a walk up Lillhagsvagen seperates you from the Bravida Stadium the home of BK Haken.
Although not totally capturing the dominance of last season Häcken are Swedish football’s most free flowing attacking side. That alone goes some way to explaing as to why Häcken have broken the dominance of the big three in Gothenburg. But the amount of goals Häcken have scored both this season (2023) and last (2022) has resulted in the club leaving Malmo FF, AIK and Djurgardens behind where success is concerned.
BK Häcken came to be in the 1940’s – the founding date being 2nd August 1940.
Originally they were due to be known as BK Kick, but then those who formed the club chose a name after a hedge located in the Hisingen area.
The yellow and black jerseys were chosen supposedly as they were the only colours available at the time; colours that did however at least differentiate them from other Gothenburg sides.
Early success brought the club the nickname ‘the comets’ not least because of its impressive winning streak in Swedish football competitions. A club identity developed and by the 1950’s they were a club challenging for Allsvenskan place – but that was as far as it went – ‘challengers’.
The 60’s and 70’s saw good times and bad.
Allsvenskan qualification eventually arrived in the 1980’s just as IFK (Gothenburg’s premier football force) were becoming one of European Football’s top sides thanks to two UEFA Cup titles.
A balancing act between participation in Allsvenskan and division 1 (now Superetten) continued in 1990’s. But a season in the Allsvenskan always seemed to end up being followed with relegation.
The seeds of the current BK Hacken took root in 2005.
A sporting director was hired and new investment was gained thanks to careful off-field planning.
BK Häcken would become an attractive all Swedish club through its investment in development, youth football, girls football and sports entertainment. Major investments were made into a new training facility and by saying goodbye to Rambergsvallen – its old yet traditional stadium.
The pivotal season was 2015.
After a season at the Gamla Ullevi sharing with IFK and GAIS things got significantly better when Hacken finally played for the first time at a new home stadium – the Bravida Arena, build on the site of the old ground.
BK Hacken became Swedish Champions in 2022 and qualified for the Europa League Group Stages in 2023. At the time of writing they sit just behind Malmo FF in the table and have every chance of retaining the prestegious Allsvenskan title.
In contrast to the success of Hacken, IFK Goteburg sit 11th in the top tier. GAIS meanwhile remain rooted to the second tier Superetten with Örgryte bottom of the same division.
You can see the full range of Hacken BK images here.