Frankfurt / Main – While many other sports continue to be postponed and canceled, the German Football League is working on its master plan for the continuation of the Bundesliga season from the beginning of May.
League boss Christian Seifert, who has been in focus for weeks, made two key points clear in the days leading up to the unusual, football-free Easter. On the one hand: DFL and clubs will be ready and prepared for the weeks-long state of emergency, which despite the Corona crisis still provides for an end to the league season by June 30th and without spectators in the stadiums.
On the other hand: “It will not be the case that even a doctor, nurse or nurse who is relevant to the system cannot be tested because football players have to be tested,” said Seifert in the “New York Times” clear.
For the nine remaining game days that still have to be completed in the two federal leagues to receive the last installment of TV money, which is essential for some survival, numerous tests will be necessary for the professionals to minimize the risk of new infection chains in weekly game operations.
There are not only first voices from politics that are looking for a quick restart of gaming but also doubts. SPD politician Karl Lauterbach told Spiegel: “Theoretically, football would only be conceivable if the players were tested a few days before the game and then isolated until the start of the game so that they would not infect each other. If a player is infected, he and all teammates must be quarantined. » This means not only increased testing capacities for the million-dollar business football, but also months of restrictions and strict measures for the professionals to enable the season to end.
What’s in the Bundesliga after Easter?
Another extraordinary general meeting on Friday, at which the 36 professional clubs discuss how to proceed. It is the third in the Corona crisis after mid-March and late March. So far, the suspension of the leagues has been decided up to a certain point in time, this time it could be a start date for the resumption.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers want to discuss how to proceed in the crisis. It will also depend on what the DFL Presidium and the clubs talk about. “We don’t have it in our hands,” Ligaboss Seifert told the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”.
How should the so-called ghost games work?
With a few people as possible. The DFL has given the clubs a scenario in which 239 people are initially expected. At the only ghost game to date (Gladbach against Cologne on March 11), there were about 600 people left.
Now, for example, fewer folders and fewer ball boys are to be used, and there should also be no catering at all. There are also only eight people for the clubs per delegation.
How big are the financial worries of the German professional clubs?
The TV money already planned should become existential for several professional clubs. FC Schalke 04 has already appealed to its season ticket holders to refrain from reclaiming the remaining home games. Paderborn’s managing director Martin Przondziono said at Sport1: «It is not that we will be insolvent next month.
We can postpone that for a month or two, but then we run out of air.» DFB President Fritz Keller is also afraid of bankruptcies and considers them possible in the highest German division.
What special features are conceivable when restarting the Bundesliga?
For example, referees from Munich could whistle FC Bayern for the rest of the season, which is otherwise not possible. This was reported by the «Bild newspaper» on Saturday. As a result, shorter travel distances for the referees are even desirable, since they should arrive, whistle and leave on the day of the match. The referees should also be tested the day before they are deployed.
Furthermore, scenarios are also conceivable according to which games no longer necessarily take place at the intended location if a transfer results in a practical advantage. This could be the case, for example, if there are different regulations in the federal states. Due to the ghost games, the home advantage will lose a lot of value in the event of a sequel.
What’s next for the European Cup?
The European Football Union has given national league priority to end the season. All games of the Champions League and Europa League have been postponed “until further notice”.
UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin believes that the European Cup must end before September to be able to choose the winners. However, the continental association also depends on when the leagues in the individual countries will start playing again. Various scenarios are being developed to save the European Cup season. As the “Sunday Express” reported, one idea is to play the Champions League and Europa League in a three-week block in August.
What can change with transfers?
The DFL did not want to comment on the latest FIFA guidelines on possible changes for the transfer market. The goal of ending the season regularly remains. With the recommendations, the world association has cleared the way for the national leagues to play longer than planned: expiring contracts should be extended until the season is over. However, FIFA may not intervene directly in nationally applicable labor law.
Further flexibility has now been announced. So far, there have been two phases in which players are allowed to switch: one between seasons that cannot last longer than twelve weeks, and one in the middle of the season that cannot exceed four weeks.
“What we could now see in the crisis would be that associations open an additional, third transfer window,” said James Kitching, FIFA Director Football Regulatory, in the ARD “Sports Show” on the new recommendations. “We would handle this flexibly if the total time of 16 weeks was not exceeded.”