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Bundesliga chief’s positive news for return of football in Germany as clubs resume training

6 months ago
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Bundesliga Chief Executive, Christian Seifert, has given some welcome positive news after clubs in the Bundesliga and second tier returned to training.

Taking it slowly, the players are training in small groups but no contact, as hopes for football returning in Germany rise.

Christian Seifert has said that outline plans have been made for all 36 clubs in the top two divisions to return to actually as soon as early May, with potentially the remaining (nine) league games of the schedule aimed to be completed by the end of June.

The Bundesliga boss though believes that any planned return will be with no fans present and indeed he thinks it is possible that this could even be the case for the rest of this calendar year.

Any return to action will not harm the medical situation in Germany the Bundesliga CEO says, with clubs able to source their own testing kits and not leave hospitals etc short.

As part of the plan, it is estimated for each Bundesliga match behind closed doors, it will require around  240 people, from players to TV production staff.

Working groups have been organised to develop strategies/plans to allow matches to go ahead. Putting in place rules for what needs to happen each match day, as well as medical advice on how best to plan training and games, plus what will happen if a player tests positive for the virus.

Seifert estimates it would cost Bundesliga clubs collectively around 750m euros (approx £656m) if this season couldn’t be finished.

The Bundesliga CEO has also initiated talks to make available a massive bridging loan, if the worst happens and the Bundesliga needs to borrow money to avoid clubs going bust, if the 2019/20 season can’t be brought to a conclusion.

In England there is a deep mistrust for Premier League players due to fears unscrupulous owners will take advantage of any wage cut they accept, players wanting guarantees on where any saved money will go. However, in Germany there is far more trust, no doubt largely due to fans owning at least 50% plus one share in clubs, rather than private individuals controlling clubs as they do in the Premier League. The biggest clubs agreeing wage cuts as high as 30%, down to 10% at the smaller clubs.

One thing is for sure according to Bundesliga Chief Executive, Christian Seifert, when talking to the New York Times about plans for the return of football in Germany, he thinks the transfer market will ‘collapse’ when the next window opens and agents will realise they won’t have it anything like as easy as before:

“In the short-term, I would say the transfer market this summer will not exist, it will collapse.

“Some agents will suddenly understand that they will have to work hard, or at least work; some leagues will understand that money is not something that is coming automatically every month from heaven.”

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