Bundesliga secures deals with broadcasters for 2019/2020 payments-DFL
SPORTS By Reuters | April 24th 2020
The Bundesliga has secured agreements with rights holder Sky and all but one broadcaster for payments for the rest of the 2019/2020 season that will help keep clubs afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert said on Thursday.
The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 148,000 and killed over 5,000 people in Germany. A restart is expected some time in May but it is up to the government to give the green light.
"If we should start on May 9, we are ready. If it is later we will be ready again," Seifert said, adding that the deal with broadcasters made sure clubs would have enough liquidity until June 30 and once the season got under way.
Should the season be abandoned they would have to pay back some of the amount, he said.
"For us what is decisive is what the politicians will decide. It is not for us to decide when," Seifert said on a potential restart date.
Germany has the fifth highest COVID-19 caseload behind the United States, Spain, Italy and France, but has kept fatalities down thanks to early and extensive testing.
Regional leaders in Bavaria and North Rhine Westphalia said this week it was possible for the league to resume without spectators after May 9 and under strict health and safety conditions.
The League has warned that many clubs in the first and second divisions faced an uncertain financial future and several would be in an "existence-threatening" situation if play did not resume by June.
Some German shops opened for business again this week, after a month of lockdown, in an agreement with the leaders of Germany's 16 states, who are all keen to start the long haul of repairing the economy.
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