Football Sports

Bundesliga to extend suspension as clubs agreed ‘May return’

Earlier this week, the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has announced that Bundesliga and 2 to suspend fixtures until the start of May at the earliest as Bundesliga clubs have “unanimously” agreed to extend suspension due to the global pandemic. The decision was approved by Germany’s 36 professional clubs following the video conference German Football League (DFL) directors.

“The board felt a lot of support (from the clubs),” said DFL president Christian Seifert, adding that league was “sticking together”. The upper two tiers had been halted since March 14 and were supposedly due to resume April 2. However, the virus remained uncontainable in the country with nearly 85,000 confirmed cases and over 1,000 fatalities at the time of writing.

Reports also claims that the DFL planned to resume the season from the first weekend of May, with games to be played behind closed doors. Meanwhile, Seifert did not rule out the thought and instead, he said that they “aim to end the season by June 30, and that is still the status today”. They are eager to resume a month from now as some clubs’ funds in jeopardy.

Some 32 clubs seek to avoid losses in excess of $840 million (€750 million) comprising of broadcasting payments, sponsorship and matchday revenue, the three factors that make up a Bundesliga club income. If the season will not be completed, it would leave some clubs facing an “existential threat” in June due to the loss of crucial factors.

In addition, having no match means no ticket sales and that alone cost $145 million (€130 million) loss across the top tier. “We want to see what is possible. If games can take place, it can be assumed that they will necessarily have to take place without spectators, possibly into next season, maybe until the end of the year,” Seifert added.

The DFL is reportedly in discussions with its domestic rights holders regarding the final payment of television rights for the 2109/20 season. “The next season that will take place in the way we are accustomed to will be 2021/22.” With nine games remaining in the German top-flight, defending champions Bayern Munich sits leads the table with four-point over second-placed Borussia Dortmund.

Speaking about other major leagues in Europe in terms of financial and legal position, Seifert said that there “there is a lot of uncertainty” in his conversations with other league’s representatives. We have better conditions than others in Europe. The discussions we have with our media partners take place at a different level,” he added.

Previously, Europe’s top domestic soccer leagues were halted indefinitely as Europe was declared to be the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Last month, the UEFA Euro 2020 and CONMEBOL Copa America was announced postponed for a year pandemic. The Olympics and Japan and Wimbledon 2020 in England have previously called off as well.