The German leagues will remain suspended until April 02 (and likely beyond) as the football world continues to reel from the Coronavirus pandemic.
The DFL held a general assembly meeting today with all 36 clubs from the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga attending, to make a decision on how to proceed with the season amid the Coronavirus outbreak. After the meeting, DFL CEO Christian Seifert announced that the leagues will remain suspended for now, and it remains unclear when they will be able to return.”
Seifert said in his press conference (H/T: Manuel Veth): “Nobody can say when, and if, we can continue. At the center of things is the game, but 56,000 jobs are dependent on the game plus thousands of jobs in media and other related businesses.”
Despite that, the DFL say they will do everything possible to ensure that the season can come to a regular end. Another meeting will take place on March 30 to decide on whether or not the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga campaigns can resume afterwards.
Seifert added that he sees ghost games (or games with no fans present in the stadium) as the “only chance of survival for some clubs in the short term.”
“Without income from television, sponsor and attendance we can only survive for a short period. Ghost games will be the only way to survive in the short-term.
“We are working at this point, to ensure that 36 Bundesliga teams will survive until day x, when we can return to playing football. This isn’t about paying millions to players but to ensure that the thousand of employees won’t lose their jobs.”
“Without sponsor income, television income, those jobs and the financial existence of clubs is in danger. We have to find solutions to continue our business.”
It was reported earlier that clubs in the top two divisions of German football stand to lose as many as 750 million euros if the season were to end without the remaining nine matches being completed. If the suspension goes on for too long, the survival of some of the smaller clubs might not be guaranteed.
“Tomorrow UEFA will discuss what to do with the Euros, which will give us potentially room to finish the season in June. Whether we can finish the season will depend on the UEFA decision tomorrow. I expect that tomorrow we will have more flexibility to finish the season.”
UEFA is set to hold meetings tomorrow to decide on how to proceed in the Champions League, Europa League as well as this summer’s European Championships. Seifert believes that the Bundesliga’s options could become a little clearer after that, especially if the European Championships are cancelled or postponed.