Säntjana Linna FC

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Club logo of Säntjana Linna FC
Säntjana Linna are a professional men's football team based in Säntjana, the capital of Karolia. They have played in the Liiga 1 division since its formation and have won it twelve times, and won the ''Riikspreema'' (National Cup) eighteen times since 1926. Their home ground is the National Stadium of Karolia and the current manager is Timo Vaasinen. They are colloquially referred to as 'Linna' to distinguish them from the other Liiga 1 team in Säntjana, FC Losse.

Säntjana Linna FC have once again qualified for the Archanta Champions League in 2015-2016. The club also hosts a professional women's team (see Säntjana Linna Fimme FC).

History

The teams of Linna and their arch-rivals, FC Säntjana Losse, stand for the national anthem before a match in the Archanta Champion's League in 2014
The team was founded in 1903 as a more formalised version of an amateur team that had been playing matches on the city sports ground in Säntjana. They chose the blue colour of the state flag for their jerseys and played their first official match against Sport Club Jurnova, winning 3-0. When the Karolian National League was formed in 1920 the team was one of the fourteen invited to join the top division. The only period in which Linna have not played in the top division in Karolia was between 1943-1947 when the club lost a number of key players and the manager due to financial difficulties.

In 1971 Säntjana Linna won the first season of the new Liiga 1 and reached the semi-finals of the Riikspreema. They have subsequently won the Riikspreema nine times bringing their total to eighteen, and the Archanta Champions' League three times. The team of the late 1980s and 1990s were known as the first 'Golden Generation' under the guidance of manager Jonas Luppinen, which saw the side winning the Riikspreema three times and the Liiga 1 five in twelve years.

Linna finished third in Liiga 1 in the 2014-2015 season.

Stadia

Linna currently play at the National Stadium of Karolia (Karolijas Riikstadion), built in its current configuration for the 1986 World Cup. Their previous ground on the same site was called the Linnastadion and was built in 1932. Prior to this the club played at a location further to the east in Maetoo which is now developed into housing.

The National Stadium can seat 45,000 and can be adapted to a venue for other sports.

Kit

2014-15 replica home shirt.
2014-15 replica home shirt with printing for no 16 midfielder Leosi Saëvoo. Note the left sleeve badge is for participation in the contemporary Riikspreema season whilst the right is for Liiga 1 (with 'champions 2013-14' printing below) which have been added by the fan and would not both be found on a player issue shirt.
Linna have generally played in royal blue for their home kit and white for away. A few seasons have seen the team adopt blue and white stripes or half-and-half shirt design but these have not been seen very often. Currently, the 2014-15 home strip is manufactured by Karolian sportswear company KSport and consists of a blue shirt with white and gold detailing, and white shorts, whilst the away kit is a white shirt with blue detailing and blue shorts. The third kit is yellow with blue detailing and blue shorts. Goalkeepers wear black, yellow or red. The current shirt sponsor is Finira motors, with the Megna model being included for the 2014-15 season.

In common with most other top-flight teams, Linna use their own design of shirt numbers and lettering for competitions outside the Liiga 1.


Current team 2015-2016 season

Coaching staff

Manager: Timo Vaasinen

Head coach: Märt de Säta

Notable players

Midfielder Henriik Sääs was the team captain between 1924 and 1935 and led the team to victory in four tournaments (as well as playing for the Karolian national team) and later coached it, scoring over 120 goals for his club. He is considered to be one of the team's greatest figures and a statue of him can be found at the main entrance to the stadium.

Goalkeeper Jens Huuvel is the club's most capped player at 454 appearances in all competitions between 1977 and 1990.

Striker Maaris Otera is currently the team's third highest goalscorer of all time and has found the net 81 times since making his debut in 2008.

Academy

Linna operate a junior academy and two Under-21 teams to nurture talent from home and abroad. The club has historically been praised for retaining a high percentage of younger Karolian players into the adult team in preference to buying in foreign players already established in the game.

Culture

Colloquailly referred to as 'Linna' or SLFC, the team have a strong fan base both in Säntjana and the rest of Karolia, with many supporters' clubs abroad too. The home matches regularly attract capacity crowds and the team can expect a large number of fans to follow them in overseas fixtures. Songs and chants regularly heard on the terraces include Linnaratao (In the City, the club's official anthem) and uks (Number One Again), in which fans will sing a refrain referencing the shirt numbers of the players' currently on the pitch in descending order and inciting them each to score, before reaching number one which is, of course, where the team will finish in the league.

Commercial

Ownership

The club's owners are a consortium made up of business owners Logi Maval, Pieter Bari, Katherina Leverdos and the Linna Supporters' Trust, who each have an equal stake.

Financial

The club is a limited liability company which issues stocks on the Karolian stock exchange. The club made an operating profit of Kr16 million in 2012-13, with spending on players totalling approx. Kr102 million and sales and loans of players bringing in around Kr32 million. Under financial rules no Karolian club may spend more than its revenues over a five-year period.

Merchandise

Linna are followed all over the world and the club generates a significant revenue from sales of replica shirts, scarves, programmes and other merchandise. In 2012-2013 it was estimated that sales of goods brought in around Kr26 million to the club. By far the most popular item of merchandise is the home shirt with printing for star striker Maaris Őtera.

TV

SLFC have their own subscription TV channel, Linna TV, screening matches, news and archive film to fans.

Linna, along with the other teams in the Liiga 1, have a say in the bidding process for national TV rights. The state broadcaster is allowed first choice of the Riikspreema matches (paying a fee within the price rules set by the KJL) but must compete equally with commercial broadcasters for Liiga 1 games and the ACL and other international competitions. Highlights may be shown on any channel. The clubs receive a 66% share of the broadcast fee with the rest going to the KJL.