International

Bundesliga's 'Big 4' pledge financial aid for rivals

2020-03-26 20:06
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (PA/Supplied)

Four of Germany's biggest football clubs have pledged €20 million to help Bundesliga rivals facing financial difficulty in the coronavirus crisis, the German Football League (DFL) announced on Thursday.

Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig - all of whom qualified for this season's Champions League - said they would make the funds available for crisis-hit clubs in the top two German divisions, which are run by the DFL.

"This decision underlines the fact that solidarity is not an empty word in the Bundesliga," said DFL president Christian Seifert.

"The DFL is very grateful to the four Champions League participants."

The four clubs will forego €12.5 million of their remaining share of next season's TV rights revenues, and add a further €7.5 million from their own reserves.

The DFL itself will be responsible for deciding how the money is distributed among clubs in the top two divisions.

"In these difficult times, it is important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders. We want to show that football stands together," said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a statement.

"We always said that we wanted to show solidarity when clubs fall into difficulty due to this extraordinary situation and through no fault of their own," said his Dortmund counterpart Hans-Joachim Watzke.

The Dortmund CEO had previously caused outrage by arguing that clubs who had made "financial and sporting mistakes" in recent years should not be bailed out by richer rivals.

In a country where few clubs are financed by billionaire investors, many Bundesliga stalwarts are concerned for their futures in the crisis.

Players at relegation-threatened Werder Bremen have offered to forego wages in order to ease the financial burden on the club, while Schalke's head of marketing Alexander Jobst has said that "the existence of the club" is at stake.

With the league suspended until at least the end of April, most clubs are hoping that the season can be played out behind closed doors in the summer to avoid severe losses in TV revenues.

Former Bayern president Uli Hoeness warned on Thursday that if no games were held before the end of the year, "the league's entire basis of existence will be threatened".

"Right now, solidarity needs to be lived, not just talked about," Hoeness told Kicker magazine.

Read more on:    bundesliga  |  soccer  |  coronavirus

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.