The Bundesliga was the last of Europe’s top leagues to officially suspend play for the time being due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Some of this weekend’s matches were still going to take place as recently as two days ago, but the DFL and DFB decided to follow suit with the rest of the top European leagues. It’s still unclear at this point whether the season might be ended altogether, but if that is what it comes down to, there could be huge financial losses for all of the clubs in the league. They are estimated to be around three-quarters of a billion euros (Bild).
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke earlier this week about the loss of television revenue that would occur with the cancellation of matches this weekend, for which he received some criticism. Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke also warned about potential financial losses. The content of what he was saying, however, is true, despite the risks that the virus poses for players, staff members, fans, and their loved ones. Because there is no insurance cover for the clubs for things like television revenue, losing out on that revenue stream for the remaining nine match days could result in a loss of over 370 million euros from that source alone.
Sky Germany, which is the Bundesliga’s main contractual television partner stated that the situation could yield big losses due to the loss of entrance gate receipts and sponsorships money. When asked on the details, Sky responded:
These are private contract terms, that are understandably not intended to be public.
Moving forward, the DFL has called for a meeting to be held where representatives from all 36 clubs will be present to discuss how they should collectively proceed. The idea of potentially setting up an aid fund has been touted around, but has been met with some skepticism thus far.