The stoppage in the sporting competitions because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has been raising several questions from the financial point of view of the clubs. However, the German regulation makes the German case particularly delicate. Have a look…
WEAK INSURANCES IN THE CASE OF UNFORESEEN
Unlike other European leagues that are equally newsworthy who offer protection to their own clubs in case of unforeseen events, that way maintaining the payments of television rights and sponsorships, the same thing isn’t true for the Bundesliga that doesn’t have any clause to protect the clubs on a scenario like this one.
Taking that into consideration, several clubs are nervous with the possibility of not receiving the monies corresponding to the next couple of months due to the lack of competition. Naturally, it will always be the smaller clubs who are more dependant of external revenues getting into a more delicate situation with this kind of unexpected events.
According to the German newspaper Bild, these are the clubs at risk of going bankrupt in case they don’t receive the amounts that would be expectable on the case of the season going normally: Werder Bremen, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Mainz, FC Koln, Paderborn, and also Nurnberg from the 2.Bundesliga.
Jan Lehmann, Mainz’s president, has already warned that 50 or 60% of the club’s revenues come from the media and in case they don’t receive May’s payment, they can really get into serious problems of wage noncompliance since we are talking about 15 or 16 million euros.
Fortuna Dusseldorf’s CEO also left a warning reinforcing the idea that this is a stage where the richer clubs need to be on the same side of the poorer clubs and support them as much as possible.
INSTITUCIONAL SOLIDARITY WILL HAVE TO PREVAIL
An aspect that seems to be decisive so that the situation doesn’t really become dramatic will be solidarity. Besides the richer clubs who might offer some kind of help on this more delicate stage, the TV networks will also be able to offer some support, namely paying a percentage of the agreed amount for example.
The role of the board of the Bundesliga will also have an equally important role, since they will have to take action to preserve the rights of their clubs, especially the ones with less financial strength who are more dependant of the external revenue to survive in the challenging German football.
"Futebol sem adeptos – um pesadelo que pode durar muito tempo: "Não acredito em nada que voltaremos a encher os estádios de futebol num futuro previsível (…) Não haverá tal coisa até o próximo ano neste momento", diz o virologista @c_drosten in stern#Bundesliga" https://t.co/JKaBlGzRV7
— Rui (@kinder_surprise) March 22, 2020
This will be a scenario that might last for 2/3 months and that might seriously jeopardise the clubs mentioned above. However, there is also the hope that all this problem with the coronavirus might be solved somewhat recently, with a potential return to competitions until the end of April.
AVES DEFENDING THEMSELVES FROM UNPAID WAGES WITH CHINESE ECONOMY
In Portugal there are several clubs that are currently in wage non-compliance with their players. However, the case of Desportivo das Aves has been causing a stir since they’re a club of Liga NOS. Besides that, the club hasn’t paid its employees since January, which means, we are practically reaching 3 months of wage noncompliance from the club’s board.
Recently, the goalkeeper Beurnardeau and the defender Afonso Figueiredo have protested again against this situation, alleging that it is difficult to survive with all of this noncompliance. Curiously, the board of the club already tried to justify itself, alleging that one of the main reasons for this failure has to do with the economic crisis in China motivated by the coronavirus.
— zerozero (@zerozeropt) March 22, 2020
The president Wei Zhao has paid the salaries of the last month of 2019 on February 14th, but they failed to make any payments since then. Yes, the economic problems in China might have an impact from the standpoint of a Chinese investor in Portuguese football. However, any football institution should be equipped with a revolving fund to deal with inconvenient expenses.
The situation in China only got really worse from the start of 2020 which means it didn’t justify the fact that there were already unpaid wages at that time, which means despite the pandemic potentially being a reason for the aggravation of the club’s crisis, I don’t believe that is the main reason for all the difficulties the club is going through at the moment.
In last place of the Portuguese league with only 13 points conquered in 24 matches, Desportivo das Aves is 9 points away from leaving the relegation zone and they will need an amazing final stretch of the season to avoid relegation.
Well, having unpaid wages for so long certainly won’t be a way to motivate the players to string together a miraculous streak of good results until the end of the season that might save them from relegation to the 2nd division…