Penya Chescandinavia is the official Valencia CF supporters club in the Nordics. It is a non-profit organization, consisting of die hard valencianistas mostly originating from- or living in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland – and even in Valencia and other parts of the world!
Let us take you back in time to the end of the 90’s and the early dawn of the new millennia. Valencia as a club is but a foreign name in a league you cannot watch on TV in the Scandinavian countries. Only a very select few had even heard of the team. Even fewer started tuning into the local Valencian radio station, the webcasted now deprecated channel Radio Nou, to hear the matches. And with every “gooool” sung by the legendary commentator Josep Rovira, latent feelings for the club blossomed.
As the club started succeeding in Champions League, and Scandinavian players joined, the general interest grew. A few got together in various discussion fora to talk about the club, and we even got some news through Spanish speakers who wrote articles for web sites such as Svenskafans.com and later Norskefans.com. Throughout the first half of the decade it remained so.
Then, in 2006 the forum “Foro Chescandinavia” was created with the intention to bring together people to make the penya happen. At that point in time there existed no dedicated community in the Nordics, and there was no organization to consolidate the diaspora of Scandinavian Chés. For a few years the Foro was the place to go for the hard core consisting of about 25 people.
The next step was taken in 2007, spearheaded by the Penya’s first President Daniel Cervera. Around twenty Valencia CF fans gathered to see the team in a Champions League play off against the locals Elfsborg IF in Borås, Sweden. They travelled mainly from Norway and Sweden and participated in the scheduled constitutional meeting at the Hotel Scandic. A few hours prior to the match, the act was witnessed by the entire club board, headed by at that time president Juan Bautista Soler, and the Agrupacío de Penyes president Jaume Part. A great number of journalists from Spanish and Swedish media were present to cover the birth of this exotic penya far in northern territory. A very successful day, since VCF won the game as well.
Apart from the two scores of members and a dozen officials, another score of visiting journalists attended to witness the birth of Penya Valencianista Chescandinavia. Chescandinavia has been a member of the APV since, with the offical penya number #745.
The official inauguration of the penya was held in Trondheim, Norway, in late October the same year, when Valencia CF met the local team Rosenborgs BK. Hans Kristian Lange, at the time vice president, represented the Penya during the inauguration, where the club was represented by VCFs vice president as well as Sr. Jaume Part from the APV. Gathering more than 60 Norwegians and Swedish, as well as a host of Spanish reporters, the occasion couldn’t have been better. In fact there’s a video!
Together with Norskefans, we also interviewed Marchena and Emery, Joaquin (what a great guy!) as well as the goalkeeper Renan. Valencia beat Rosenborg 4-0 with Pablo Hernandez being one of the best performers.
At that time, it was impossible for Scandinavian residents to buy tickets in advance for reasonable rates. The penya succeeded to help members attend hundreds of matches at the Mestalla and on national games, as well as international cup-matches in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
The, for now, last time Valencia played in the Nordics, they met Oslo team Stabæk in the Europa League. Again we were quite a few and actually out-sung the local fans in another 4-0 win. Again we were as lucky as to be able to interview some great people, even though David Albelda and Zigic both turned us down. David Villa, Ever Banega and Stabæk player Daniel Nannskog all talked to us.
Though the number of members have varied between 10 and 120 through the years, even more have been involved and participated on the forums, and engaged through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc.
The penya does not host a physical club house facility since the members live far an between. Instead, it’s virtual sede is here, on Chescandinavia.com! Though some would say that sharing about 5000 articles, video interviews, helping hundreds of people with tickets and also publishing some hefty looking newsletters is a lot…..well we think it is not enough and always want to do more. At times though it has been hard to maintain the Penya. In fact, on a couple of occasion it has been nearly shut down. What is important is that we have always come back. Wiser, stronger and more international.
With recent growth in countries such as Denmark and Finland, we have expanded from our Norwegian and Swedish base, thus also adopting the English language as the main one. You might say we have followed the club’s ups and downs, it’s success and failure. Now we walk the line together towards internationalization. During Las Fallas 2015 we were for the first time ever present from all four nationalities.
We want to thank all those who have contributed throughout the years to the love for our club, and to creating and sustaining what is Penya Valencianista Chescandinavia. To contributors and those who enjoy their work – thank you!
Special thank’s go out to the following, in no particular order:
Sr. Jaume Part for his help in making the Penya real, the help with tickets at Puerta 0 and the egg and fries shared in Trondheim
1st President Daniel Cervera for his initiative, vision and hard work in establishing the Foro as well as the Penya
2nd and current President Hans Kristian Lange – dedicated and hard working.
Joakim and Fredrik Stai for their amazing skills and craft in creating Chescandinavia.com, our logo and newsletters
Original members and contributors: Jöran Nordlund (the creator of the first logo), Egil Wingbro “Tuchanowski”, Biban Duhoki, Peter Olsson, Viktoria Nordström, Johannes Ahlin, Stefan “Barco” Barkstedt (for the impressive bandera), Asterios Geroukis, Sebastian Company, …
Pål Ødegård, Eirik Strøm Pedersen, Egil Wingbro for re-ignating the spark when it was lost.
Amadeo Salvo, for opening up the club to the fans on several occasions in a way that no other Valencia CF President has done.
And all of you who have given this Penya their time, some donations and their passion.