The football division was formed out of the Hammarby Idrottsförening (Hammarby IF) club in 1915. In 1999, Hammarby IF was reorganised as an umbrella organisation, with each of the individual sports sections breaking off to form independent clubs; the football club was then named Hammarby IF Fotbollförening (Hammarby IF FF). In 2001, the football club split the A-team, B-team and the J-teams into a separate legal entity called Hammarby Fotboll, in which the parent football club owns a majority stake. Hammarby Fotboll is affiliated with the Stockholms Fotbollförbund (Stockholm Football Association).
In 1889, Hammarby Roddförening ("Hammarby Rowing Association") was established. By 1897, it had diversified into different sports, and was renamed Hammarby Idrottsförening ("Hammarby Sports Club"), or Hammarby IF for short. In 1915, the club established a football division when it merged with Klara SK. In 1918, Hammarby IF merged with Johannesshovs IF. In the early 1920s, they had a strong showing where they went to the Svenska Mästerskapet finals in 1922, losing to GAIS, but qualified to compete in Allsvenskan's inaugural season in 1924.
The club finished last in the 1924–25 Allsvenskan, and were relegated to Division 2, which was then the second highest league in Sweden. In the 1936-37 season, the club placed first in its section, but lost the playoff match that would have promoted them to Allsvenskan. The following following season, the club placed first in its section again, but lost in the qualifying playoff. In the 1938-39 season, the club placed first in its section and finally qualified for Allsvenskan. Although the club finished last in Allsvenskan in 1939-40, the club eventually finished in the top four for the next six years back in Division 2. In the 1946-47 season, the club finished tenth and last place in Division 2, but because of a restructuring of the league system, the club was relegated to Division 4.
Hammarby did not return to the second highest league until the 1950-51 season. In the 1954-55 season, the club return to Allsvenskan, but this time it finished sixth and managed to stay for another season. However, the club underwent yo-yoing, having been promoted and relegated between Allsvenskan and Division 2 seven times until 1970. Nacka Skoglund, one of the league's top players who played for Hammarby from 1944-1949, returned to Hammarby to play from 1964-1967. In his return debut, he landed a corner kick into the goal minutes into the match; in 1984, the club erected the Nackas Hörna (Nacka's corner) statue with his kick as the pose.
1970s-1980s: Stable Allsvenskan years
In the 1970 Allsvenskan season, Hammarby had acquired only 3 points in the spring portion of the season, but during the autumn, showed a dramatic improvement. With star players Kenta Olsson and Ronnie Hellström, and with a crowd that tried out supporter songs for the first time, the club went through the autumn half undefeated and finished in fifth place, its best showing in Allsvenskan. The club would stay in Allsvenskan through the rest of the 1970s, attracting large crowds, despite not returning above fifth place. Also in 1978, the club changed from black/yellow to green/white colours.
In the 1982 season, Swedish football introduced a playoff system for the top 8 teams in Allsvenskan to decide a champion. The playoffs consisted of two matches in which the aggregate score would determine who would advance. The club had placed second overall that season and had not lost a home game. After defeating Örgryte in the quarter-finals, and coming back from a 1-3 deficit to beat Elfsborg 4-3 in the semi-finals, Hammarby was in the final against IFK Göteborg. Hammarby won its away match 2-1 to a sold-out crowd, but lost 1-3 in its home match.
In the following year, Hammarby finished fifth in the league, but lost to AIK in the playoffs. In the Svenska Cupen tournament, Hammarby reached the finals but lost against IFK. However, since IFK qualified for the UEFA Cup that year, Hammarby qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, its first major international competition, where the club lost to Finland's FC Haka in the second round. The Hammarby squads finished consistently in the top six in the league every year through 1987.
In 1988, Hammarby finished last in the standings and were relegated to the second tier. Although the club placed first in 1989, it finished last in 1990.
A chart showing the progress of Hammarby IF through the Swedish football league system. The different shades of grey represent the various league tiers.
Hammarby would stay in the second tier in 1991 and 1992, but in 1993, the team finished in first place and were promoted to Allsvenskan. In 1995 Allsvenskan, the team finished last and were relegated, but returned to the 1998 Allsvenskan with a third place finish.
In 1999, Hammarby IF was restructured to be an umbrella organisation, with each of the individual sports sections breaking off to form independent clubs; the football club was then named Hammarby IF Fotbollförening (Hammarby IF FF). In 2001, the football club split the A-team, B-team and the J-teams into a separate legal entity called Hammarby Fotboll, in which the parent football club owns a majority stake. Hammarby Fotboll is affiliated with the Stockholms Fotbollförbund (Stockholm Football Association).
Prior to the 2001 Allsvenskan season, the club had financially tough times, leading experts to conclude that the team was weak, and one journalist predicted a last place finish. Halfway through the 2001 season, manager Sören Cratz was informed that his contract would not be extended because the club's board wanted Hammarby to play a positive, attacking and fun football, something the board did not think that Cratz did. However, the club took the lead in the standings and in the second-to-last match, which was against Örgryte, the club won 3-2 and secured its first ever Allsvenskan championship. An estimated fifty to seventy thousand fans gathered in Södermalm and Medborgarplatsen to celebrate the gold after the final game, the size of which had only been seen with the Swedish national football and handball teams.
In 2007, Bajen finished on the sixth place, and didn't qualify for any European cups. In 2008, Hammarby finished ninth, but 2009 was a disastrous year where the team finished last in the league and was relegated to the second tier known as Superettan.
The 2010 Superettan was a letdown for supporters who had hoped to make the visit to Sweden's second tier short, as the team finished 8th. In the 2010 Svenska Cupen, Hammarby fared better, winning against multiple Allsvenskan opponents, until the finals where the team lost 0-1 to Helsingborgs IF. In the 2011 Superettan season, the club finished in a tie for 11th, its worst overall ranking in 64 years. The club was almost allocated to the third tier until a game-winning kick in the season's final match against Ängelholm. In 2012 Superettan, the club finished fourth, and in 2013 Superettan the club finished fifth.
Colours and badge
Current Hammarby midfielder Nahir Besara wearing the 2013 home kit.
When Hammarby Roddförening (Hammarby RF) was founded, the club's badge consisted of a white flag with three green horizontal lines. The reason was that the two blue and red lines on a white flag were used by competing rowing club, and that the colour green represented the colour of hope. The club then added a third stripe when it discovered that Göteborgs RF used a similar greenwhite flag with two stripes.
When Hammarby IF established the football club in 1915, it determined the kit to be the following: white hat with a five-pointed green star, white shirt with HIF-mark on its chest, white shorts and black socks. Following a merger with Johanneshovs IF 1918, the club changed its football team apparel to Johanneshovs tiger-striped shirts, blue shorts and black socks with yellow stripes. In the 1960s, the club changed from blue pants to black. Fans have speculated that when "Nacka" Skoglund rejoined the club in 1964, he brought with him black pants because he thought the team's blue pants looked awful.
In 1978, 60 years after the merger with Johanneshov, Hammarby changed its home kits from black/yellow to white shirts, green shorts and white socks. In 1997, the tiger-striped shirts returned, but with green and white colours, with green pants and white socks. The yellow-black colours were retained for the away and third kits. A few exceptions were made since 1997. In 2002, the team wore all-white jerseys. In 2011, the team wore all grey-coloured outfits for the away kit.
Italian sportswear company Kappa is the current kit manufacturer for Hammarby, after changing from Nike at the end of 2010. Hammarby also holds major sponsorship deals with lending institution Folkia, sporting goods retailer Intersport and soft drink brand Pepsi. In July 2013, Hammarby signed a 3.5-year deal with nutrition & skin Care company Herbalife.
Hammarby has been historically regarded as a club with a mainly working-class fan base, due to its location in the Södermalm district in Stockholm. Today the club attracts supporters from all parts of society. The club's main rivals are the neighboring Djurgårdens IF and AIK. Hammarby and Djurgårdens are both in the center of Stockholm, and since 2013 have been sharing the Tele2 Arena for its games. AIK plays its home games in Solna, a municipality north of Stockholm City Centre.
Hammarby has several supporter clubs. The biggest support club, Bajen Fans, has over 9000 members and is one of the largest in Scandinavia. Hammarby also has a number of ultras such as Hammarby Ultras, Ultra Boys, Söder Bröder, Bajen Bastards and Bamsingarna. Hammarby's hooligan firm is called Kompisgänget Bajen ("KGB"). With the 1970 Allsvenskan, supporter songs were developed for Hammarby.
Biggest loss, Allsvenskan: 1–9 (against Djurgårdens IF, 13 August 1990); 0–8 (against IFK Göteborg, 2 June 1925)
Most goals scored, Allsvenskan: 94, Billy Ohlsson (1972–1986)
Most appearances (including non-league), total: 400, Kenneth "Kenta" Ohlsson (1966–1983)
A ^ Current youth players who at least have sat on the bench in a competitive match.
B. ^ The title of "Swedish Champions" has been awarded to the winner of four different competitions over the years. Between 1896 and 1925 the title was awarded to the winner of Svenska Mästerskapet, a stand-alone cup tournament. No club were given the title between 1926 and 1930 even though the first-tier league Allsvenskan was played. In 1931 the title was reinstated and awarded to the winner of Allsvenskan. Between 1982 and 1990 a play-off in cup format was held at the end of the league season to decide the champions. After the play-off format in 1991 and 1992 the title was decided by the winner of Mästerskapsserien, an additional league after the end of Allsvenskan. Since the 1993 season the title has once again been awarded to the winner of Allsvenskan.
Persson, Gunnar (1996). Hammarby IF: En klubbhistoria 1897–1997 (in Swedish). Strömbergs Bokförlag. ISBN 91-7151-097-4.
In Sweden, the club is often referred to by its nickname "Bajen", which is a short form of a mock-English pronunciation of "Hammarby".