The couple of seasons have generally been a tough time for anyone affiliated with Brann. After their promotion to the 4th division back in GS 56, they rarely ended up with a strong season, and usually just barely managed to keep their heads above the water. After their third season in the fourth division, the situation was critical. Brann avoided the direct relegation by a mere two points, and something drastic had to be done. The board initiated negotiations with the HFA, and the team got moved from the IV.43 series to the IV.21 series. This proved to be an incredible decision, because the very next season, Brann had a record-breaking cup run where they made it to the 5th round of the national cup, and finished 2nd in the league. The fans were ecstatic, the local newspapers cherished the Brann board, and things seemed to have been solved. However, this euphoria would prove to be very temporary. Brann was back in the relegation quicksand the next season, finishing 6th, now only a single point above the first direct relegation spot. The local newspapers and the fans were quick to turn on the Brann board, and demanded something drastic to happen, once again. Under heavy pressure, the board made a decision that in retrospect might have been way to rushed. They decided to let club legend, long-time captain, and fan favorite Jes ‘Kniksen’ Steinicke off his duties as head coach.
Inevitably, this created a huge split among the Brann fans. Some thought this was just the change the club needed, and even though Steinicke was a club legend, that didn’t justify the poor results. The other fans had a completely different view on the matter. They thought the board had failed to identify the root of the problem. In their opinion, the leadership and influence Steinicke had over the squad were still very important, and if someone were to be sacked, it should be the director of football, otherwise known as “the Phantom”. The shadowy figure has remained in the dark since his first and only public appearance some seasons back, and it seems there’s not many in the club that really know much about him. All we know is that he was responsible for both the temporary leave for Steinicke back then, and the sacking of him in GS 61. This isn’t much to draw a conclusion from, but may “the Phantom” have some kind of grudge against the guy that served the club for a quarter of a century?
Regardless, the sacking of Steinicke didn’t appear to do very much, as Brann finished 8th that season, and got relegated. The fans, now collectively, almost demanded the heads of the Brann board rolling, and wanted Steinicke to get re-appointed as head coach, and have a public apology from ‘the Phantom’ himself. However, the board denied to interact with public in any way, and left the fans answerless. To some comfort, newly appointed head coach Wojciech Draheim said in a public statement after the relegation that: “I know as much as you guys about this whole situation. As Steinicke’s protégé, I still speak to him regularly, and can promise you that he’s still the head coach of SK Brann, in spirit. We’ll all truck on through this together, and next season, I promise that we’ll win the series, and be back in the 4th division in no time!”
Draheim kept his promise, as Brann went through the whole season undefeated, and finished 1st, 7 points ahead of their rivals Stord. But as that wasn’t good enough, Draheim led Brann to new heights in the Golden League Masters, taking them all the way to the 3rd place final, where they lost to The Warriors of Sahura. With the fans in his corner, Draheim can now prove that he’s on height with his mentor Steinicke, by establishing Brann as a 4th division side, once and for all.