Frankfurt / Main – Behind the scenes, the Handball Bundesliga continues to explore all options for a continuation of the season that has been suspended until April 30, but league president Uwe Schwenker no longer believes in a happy ending in the corona crisis.
«We don’t know the conditions under which we can get back on board. Of course, those responsible have a greater hope than belief, »Schwenker told Sky Sport and emphasized: «I think it’s rather unlikely that we’ll end the season. »
On April 20, HBL wants to decide as to whether there can be a restart despite massive problems. This should take place on May 16 at the latest to complete the 2019/20 season by June 30. The league has ruled out an extension until July or even August after legal examination.
According to Schwenker, there is little reason to resume gaming operations because the coronavirus pandemic could only take place without a spectator. «The clubs are in no way built from ghost games. 30, 40 percent – in the top up to 50 percent of the clubs’ budget come from audience revenue, »said the 61-year-old. “Television is immensely important to us, but only makes up five percent of the budget.” Nevertheless, games without a spectator are also conceivable: «Basically it is not excluded. We keep all options open. »
There is also an increased risk of injury for the players against the continuation of the season due to the even more tightly timed time window. “After consulting with medical experts, it would take us about three to four weeks to be able to conduct a reasonable team training session so that we wouldn’t have another problem afterward, namely that a large number of players would be injured due to the short-term entry into the season. This has to be avoided, »warned Schwenker.
At the moment, all clubs are completely out of training, a return – unlike in football – is not in sight for the time being. «It makes a significant difference whether you train outdoors or whether you train indoors in a full-contact sport like we are. On the other hand, football has a much larger economic power and can position itself accordingly. This is much more difficult for us, »argued Schwenker.
If it came to the end of the season that he expected, there would be no sporting relegations. Then the 27/28. June postponed cup finals in Hamburg fail. How the Bundesliga season would be rated in this case is still open. This question will be answered after Easter.