Game on time: Handball Bundesliga wants to extend the break


Stuttgart – The Handball Bundesliga continues to play on the question of a possible termination of the season. The current suspension of play until the end of April should be extended in spite of the demands of some clubs for an end to the season.

“Now we would have to start on May 16 at the latest in order to be able to end the last matchday on June 24,” HBL Managing Director Frank Bohmann told the newspapers of the Funke media group. An expansion of the league break due to the coronavirus crisis is to be decided on Friday (10.30 a.m.) by another video connection of the 18 club bosses. But some clubs don’t go far enough.

“From a purely sporting point of view, I would be in favor of dropping out because I don’t think we can get started again in the next few weeks,” said Jens Burkle, coach of HBW Balingen-Weilstetten, on Thursday. Stuttgart coach and managing director Jurgen Schweikardt had already pleaded for a demolition earlier this week. He also doesn’t think possible ghost games from mid-May make sense.


“We only finance ourselves with around five percent from television money, as far as our budget is concerned. We earn about 70 percent through sponsorship, 20 to 25 percent through ticketing, »he said. “While football would progress with ghost games, that’s not the case with us.”

The financial damage is already great. By the end of the season, this could be put at “around 25 million euros” for the 1st and 2nd leagues, said Bohmann. In view of the TV contract with the pay-TV broadcaster Sky, part of the television money could still be generated if the season continued without a viewer. The sponsorship revenues would then at least flow a little again since advertising banners could be seen on TV.

On the other hand, the players’ susceptibility to injury would increase, who would then have to play games a few days apart after a long break without handball-specific training. Clubs that have registered short-time work for their players would have to pay their wages again if the game would resume, although a large part of the revenue would still be lost through ticketing, for example. Nevertheless, most clubs are still reluctant to call off the season.

“I don’t want to rush ahead, that doesn’t make any sense,” said Kiel’s managing director Viktor Szilagyi of the German Press Agency. Jennifer Kettemann of the Rhein-Neckar Lowen made similar comments. “I would like to avoid the discussion and wait for the video conference on Friday,” said the manager. The managing director Lisa Hessler from the Eulen Ludwigshafen also considers a public debate about a possible termination of the season to be of little use. “But it is obvious that day by day it is less likely that we will play again.”

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