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10 things you didn't know about Umeň

Filed: Tuesday, 13th July 2004
By: Graeme Howlett

West Ham's pre-season kicks off in Sweden tonight as Alan Pardew's men face Umeň FC on the fist leg on their three match tour.

But what do we know about Umeň? Well if you're like us, not a lot. So here's 10 (useless) things we found out about tonight's opponents:

1. Umeň play in the Swedish second division - the rough equivalent of the Coca Cola League Two (or Division Three as it was previously known - or Division Four, as it was known before that).

2. Ever heard of The International Noise Conspiracy? No, neither had we - but they're the biggest band to come out of Umeň, apparently. Playing what is described as 'anti-capitalist punk' the boys will be making an appearance at this year's Reading and Leeds music festivals.

3. Former hod carrier and occasional footballer Vinny Jones began his football career at one of Umeň's clubs, spending a couple of season in Sweden back in the 1980's.

4. Their most famous former ex-player is Jesper Blomqvist, late of Manchester United and Everton.

5. Umeň was founded less than 20 years (1987) ago when two local clubs merged.

6. Due to Umeň's floundering fortunes of late, they only manage attract an average crowd of between 3-500. However the rather more successful ladies team - Umeň IK - often pull in around 2,000 spectators per match.

7. Their 'Gammliavallen' stadium has a capacity of some 14,000. Their record attendance is 12,127, for a league clash against Gothenburg back in 1996.

8. Umeň have spent just one season in the 'Allsvenskan' - the Swedish equivalent of the Premiership.

9. The Swedes are coached by former Crystal Palace star, Steve Galloway.

10. Umeň were declared bankrupt in 2001, and, although now out of serious danger, still harbour a major debt. Sounds familiar ...

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   arrow   Swedish tour details confirmed [1st Jun 2004]

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