The four Bundesliga sides that qualified for this season’s UEFA Champions League have pledged an AUD $36 million (€20 million) to support German football’s top-flight and second-tier 2. Bundesliga during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
League powerhouses Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have all agreed to miss out on their annual share of the German Football League’s (DFL) national media revenue which totals AUD $22.6 million and add in AUD $13.5 million from their own resources.
DFL chief executive, Christian Seifert, said this contribution from the four clubs will help several German clubs survive the ongoing health crisis following the season suspension.
“This campaign underlined that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga is not lip service,” Seifert said.
“The DFL presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs.
“We’ve reached a point where Bundesliga has to admit, ‘yes, we are manufacturing a product and if we no longer manufacture it then we cease to exist.’
“Without income from television, sponsorship and gate receipts, we can only survive for a short period.
“Ghost games will be the only way to survive in the short term,” he said.
The contribution from the four Bundesliga clubs will likely be offset by revenues the teams will each receive for participating in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League.
Despite this, this move further exemplifies the Bundesliga’s strength and sense of community in these uncertain times, after several players across several clubs including Bayern and Dortmund have agreed to take pay cuts to help club employees deal with the financial strain the global pandemic is causing.
As of now, the Bundesliga has confirmed the seasons will not resume until April 30 at the earliest, after the last game was played on March 11.