Before the backdrop of current circumstance surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, the clubs from the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga agreed, on Tuesday, to suspend all league football until at least 30th April. The assembly, which took place in the form of a video conference, thereby followed recommendations set by the DFL Presidium. Another members’ meeting has been scheduled for 17th April.
In today’s meeting, various scenarios and ways to deal with them were discussed. In the knowledge that external factors, such as the spread of the virus and government response, are liable to change, the following action has been taken:
Given that the current suspension of both the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga was borne out of totally unforeseen circumstances and is an unprecedented challenge, terms and rules relating to licensing will be amended to suit the situation. Above all, this concerns clauses regarding economic capacity, and the verification thereof before and during a season. The goal is to given clubs the opportunity and the time to overcome the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and return to regular match fixtures, in order to conclude the competition through sport.
This confirms that point deductions for the opening of insolvency cases (§ 11, Nr 5 of the Licensing Regulations) will be suspended for the current season. In the case of insolvency in the coming season, only three points will be deducted, rather than nine. Furthermore, in the licensing procedure that is currently pending for the 2020/21 season, there will be no review of clubs’ liquidity. However, the DFL chooses to review economic performance during next season, from the end of October to the middle of September, in order to paint a realistic picture of the economic situation of each individual club. Should liquidity issues not be fixed by the time these investigations have concluded, clubs will not be hit with a points deduction, rather with a restriction of transfer activity.
For the 2021/2022 season, current licensing regulations will be put back in place, as a guarantee of the solidity and stability of German professional football.
A medical task force has been established to formulate ideas on the continuation of matches and training. The first step will be to centrally document every single case of COVID-19 within the clubs of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. In addition, a procedure is being developed by the commission to provide for close independent testing of all players and other staff, including immediately before matchdays. Furthermore, organisational measures to reduce the chance of disease transmission (i.e. hygiene, disinfection, distance, etc.) will be defined by the match and training organisation, and codified in a special directory. Approval and accordance from external experts and authorities is be sought to this end.
Dr Tim Meyer, medical director of the Institute for Sports and Preventative Medicine at the University of Saarland and doctor of the Germany national team, will chair the taskforce. Further members include: Dr Barbara Gärtner (professor of microbiology and infection epidemiology; University of the Saarland), Dr Werner Krutsch (specialist in orthopaedics and trauma surgery; FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, Regensburg University Hospital) and Dr Markus Braun (chief physician of the sports medicine department and the Westphalia Clinic, Borussia Dortmund team doctor and spokesman for team doctors).
On 16 March, the general meeting had unanimously declared their goal to complete the season by the end of June – including playing matches without spectators. This matches should – subject to legal admissibility and, of course, medical justifiability – be playing in stadiums with the lowest possible staffing levels in the areas of sport, media and general organisation. The aim is to make clear arrangements within the leagues, in order to present binding and reliable solutions.