To Cancel or to Proceed: The Future of the German Soccer Bundesliga and the 2019/20 Season

Stadium woes


The government has spoken. The decision has been made. After consultation with the ministers of all 16 German states, German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled a plan to partially lift the Covid-19 Lockdown, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to reopen and schools to resume classes in phases, beginning with the upper classes who are scheduled to write theie tests and graduate.  The distance requirements remain the same and the use of mouth masks is highly recommended but not required.  The bad news is one that many communities have feared for the last few weeks. Until 31 August, all large-scale events, where thousands of spectators and visitors attend, are banned from taking place. This applies for all festivals, concerts and even sporting events.

This includes all games involving the German soccer Bundesliga, where despite having a start date of the first weekend of May, the soccer league is facing an uncertain future in terms of finances and finishing the 2019/20 soccer season, determing which teams are champions in each of the tiers of the league, and finding out which of the top three are promoted and which of the bottom three teams are demoted to a lower league- like going up and down an elevator.

Already the German Basketball Leagues (BBL) has canceled the remaining season with the champions crowned and the top teams promoted. The German hockey league (DEL) has canceled its remaining season with plans of restarting the season with the same teams in each level that had started the 2019/20 season- no elevator concept and no champions.

The German soccer league is facing a peculiar situation where they are facing the choice of continuing the season, knowing that over 750 million Euros in TV money is on the line but millions more in losses are expected through their play in empty stadiums. If they cancel the remaining season, as many teams have expressed wishes, the TV money would not be transferred to the soccer teams, hence many of them would go into administration- 75% would be liquidated.

Henceforth, health or money, the decision on the finishing of the 2019/20 season needs to be made. In your opinion, what should the German soccer leagues do in light of the current situation and the decisions that have been made by officials in Berlin? A poll is below. Feel free to vote. Your comments are also welcomed.