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Schalke between confidence and fear

Dusseldorf – The financial crisis hits FC Schalke 04 at the worst moment. “The situation is very serious and critical,” said Alexander Jobst, marketing director and board member, in a live chat with fans of the Bundesliga club.

The club had previously pointed out its “potentially existential economic situation”. After a weak business year, Schalke relied on every cent this season. The game losses caused by the Corona crisis are difficult.

Jobst did not want to speak of bankruptcy. “We don’t want to stir up fear,” said the 46-year-old. But even supervisory board chief Clemens Tonnies recently said that he was “very concerned about FC Schalke and all of football”. «Nobody knows exactly which scenario we can plan with. A season break would be the super meltdown, »said the 63-year-old. “And we have no reserves,” emphasized Tonnies.

But ghost games are also not a fundamental solution to the problem for the seven-time German master. Due to the lack of spectators in the remaining home games, the club will lose a high single-digit million amount. The many offers of the Schalke fans help to actively refrain from reimbursing season tickets or already purchased day tickets. “Especially in the sum of possible repayments, each individual waiver is an immense contribution to stabilizing liquidity and ensuring the survival of the club,” said the club.

For the club with its high-cost apparatus, the financial slump comes at an inappropriate time. The cost of the license player area alone is around 100 million euros. The latest balance sheet shows a loss of 26.1 million euros for a consolidated financial statement of 275 million euros. In addition, there are net financial liabilities of almost 120 million euros. A loss in the low double-digit million range was also expected for the current financial year before the game was discontinued. It will now increase – especially if the European Cup participation is missed for the second time in a row.

“It is quite clear that livelihoods are threatened if the clubs are permanently deprived of their business bases,” said CFO Peter Peters after the publication of the business balance sheet.

The professionals made a contribution to securing liquidity with a percentage waiver of salaries and bonuses until June 30. The three-member board, as well as trainers, supervisors and other employees also waive part of the salary. The Revierclub has applied for short-time work benefits for a large part of its approximately 600 employees. The fact that the difference can be made up for is possible thanks to the waiver of the highly paid employees.

Then Jobst spreads a little optimism. «We have received a great signal of solidarity from our partners. You can be a bit confident that we will manoeuvre Schalke 04 through this situation and that we will emerge from the crisis stronger, ”said Jobst. Prerequisite: The game will start again in May – without spectators. “If this is not the case, we have to work with new measures,” said the Schalke board. Then, however, not only the district club in the Bundesliga fights for survival.