FOUR OF GERMANY’S biggest football clubs have pledged €20 million to help Bundesliga rivals facing financial difficulty in the coronavirus crisis, the German Football League (DFL) announced today.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig — all of whom qualified for this season’s Champions League — said they would make the funds available for crisis-hit clubs in the top two German divisions, which are run by the DFL.
“This decision underlines the fact that solidarity is not an empty word in the Bundesliga,” said DFL president Christian Seifert. “The DFL is very grateful to the four Champions League participants.”
The four clubs will forego €12.5 million of their remaining share of next season’s TV rights revenues, and add a further €7.5 million from their own reserves. The DFL itself will be responsible for deciding how the money is distributed among clubs in the top two divisions.
“In these difficult times, it is important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders. We want to show that football stands together,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a statement.
“We always said that we wanted to show solidarity when clubs fall into difficulty due to this extraordinary situation and through no fault of their own,” said his Dortmund counterpart Hans-Joachim Watzke.
The Dortmund CEO had previously caused outrage by arguing that clubs who had made “financial and sporting mistakes” in recent years should not be bailed out by richer rivals.
In a country where few clubs are financed by billionaire investors, many Bundesliga stalwarts are concerned for their futures in the crisis.