A disinfection dispatcher in the mixed zone of Germany's Bundesliga team Borussia Moenchengladbach. Photo: Reuters
A disinfection dispatcher in the mixed zone of Germany's Bundesliga team Borussia Moenchengladbach. Photo: Reuters

Bundesliga clubs fret over financial impact of closed door games

Time of article published Mar 10, 2020

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BERLIN  Bundesliga clubs warned on Tuesday of far-reaching financial consequences for clubs after games began to be ordered to be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus.

Borussia Moenchengladbach's derby with Cologne on Wednesday will take place without fans and Gladbach managing director Stephan Schippers said the clubs and the German Football League (DFL) are not insured against the lack of income.

"With us, one game will cost about 2 million euros (2.3 million dollars). Whether it's one, two or three matches, that can't be calculated. The money is not there," Schippers said.

A number of other Bundesliga games will be played without fans in the coming weeks with the situation uncertain outside the top flight. German Health Minister Jens Spahn recommended on Sunday that events with more than 1,000 people should be cancelled.

"Borussia Moenchengladbach will continue to exist," said Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl. "I don't know what effect this will have on smaller clubs in the second and third division."

But Eberl also said he understood the decision to play games without spectators.

"Society stands above sport. Of course we have a disadvantage now. But there are more important things than football," he added.

The German Football League had previously said it was determined to finish the league in May as planned, meaning closed door games were the only realistic option rather than postponements.

Euro 2020 is supposed to start on June 12 but media reports say UEFA is coming under increasing pressure to somehow ease the expectation on European leagues to finish on time.

Bundesliga side Augsburg expect serious revenue shortfalls because of closed door games.

"We calculate a very high six-digit loss per game," said managing director Michael Stroell. He added that it was not possible to take out insurance for such a lack of spectator income.

dpa

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