The double agent

Jim Solbakken has become Norway’s most influential football agent through his close friendship with Ole Gunnar Solskjær. And he prefers to sit at every side of the table.

Written by Lars Johnsen
Translated by Pål Ødegård
Illustration by Tore Fossbakken
Photos by Tidens Krav/All Over

*This article was published in the November 2014 Norwegian-language print edition of Josimar. Jim Solbakken threatened to sue Josimar over its content.

*Shortly after this article was published, the secretary general at the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF), Kjetil Siem (now at FIFA as president Gianni Infantino’s close adviser) said they would conduct a thorough investigation into Solbakken’s activities. A few months later they acquitted him of any wrongdoing. Though, NFF’s “investigators” never approached any of Josimar’s open sources quoted in this article.

*Towards the end of this article you will read about a criminal court case where executives from two Norwegian clubs, Stabæk and Vålerenga, were tried for fraud in relation to a football transfer where Jim Solbakken had been involved on all sides. During the trial Solbakken was a key defence witness. His testimony helped get the executives acquitted. In a 185-page special edition documentary about the transfer published in January 2016, Josimar exposed that Jim Solbakken had lied under oath

Half an hour past noon on New Year’s Day 2014, about two and a half hours before kickoff between Arsenal and Cardiff City, Sky Sports TV cameras zoomed in on Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Cardiff owner Vincent Tan as they arrived at the Emirates Stadium. Norwegian viewers could follow live the country’s arguably biggest footb...

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