League leaders Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have agreed to forego their annual share of organising body the German Football League’s (DFL) national media revenue, which would have amounted to approximately €12.5 million (AU$22.6 million). The clubs will contribute the other €7.5 million (AU$13.5 million) from their own resources.
The contribution will likely be offset by revenues the four teams will receive for participating in the 2019/20 Champions League, European club football’s premier competition.
“This campaign underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga is not lip service. The DFL presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs,” said DFL chief executive Christian Seifert.
“We’ve reached a point where Bundesliga has to admit – yes, we are manufacturing a product and if we no longer manufacture it then we cease to exist.”
The news comes days after Seifert warned that several German clubs may not survive the ongoing health crisis, also conceding during a news conference that “tens of thousands of jobs are at stake”.
“Without income from television, sponsorship and gate receipts we can only survive for a short period. Ghost games will be the only way to survive in the short term,” he said.
The last Bundesliga game was played on 11th March and games in Germany’s top two tiers were further suspended this week until 30th April at the earliest.
Players at Bayern, Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach are among those at several Bundesliga teams that have already agreed to take temporary pay cuts to help other club employees financially while revenues stall during the coronavirus crisis.
These powerhouse German clubs have taken appropriate steps to limit the damage of halted competition, as evidenced by the recent news at Football Federation Australia – who recently had to let go 70% of their staff as part of the many job losses linked to the coronavirus situation.