Next Bundesliga season to be without central hygiene concept
Frankfurt, June 9, 2022 The Bundesliga and second division of German football league will run the 20222023 season without a central hygiene concept, the organisers said on Thursday.
The German football league (DFL) will be doing this for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The special task force which helped clubs operate matches throughout the pandemic has been replaced by a permanent working group “Medicine in professional football”.
This new group will take on the duties of the task force and supplement the medical commission of the German football federation.
It will continue to retain a focus on developments in the pandemic and potentially impact on matches, the DFL said.
But it will also consider different health and medical topics around football under the leadership of Tim Mayer from Saarland University.
Mayer headed the task force and is the Germany team OLAL
Bundesliga must raise more international income, club CEO says
Düsseldorf (Germany), May 31, 2022 Bayer Leverkusen chief executive officer Fernando Carro has called on the German Football League (DFL) to generate more international marketing income in order to keep German football competitive.
“We urgently and significantly have to increase the proceeds, which are currently languishing at less than 200 million euros (215 million dollars), if we want to continue to be among the big leagues in Europe,” Carro said.
Carro said clubs must also play their part to give DFL chairman Donata Hopfen good arguments to get more money from foreign broadcasters.
German league income is far behind what the English Premier League and others generate abroad.
“This includes more excitement in the league, success in European competitions and all clubs trying to have a presence in important international markets in order to make the league more visible and strengthen it,” he said.
Carro said Bayer Leverkusen’s trip to Mexico last week was such a contribution, and that they are planning another trip abroad in autumn.
He expressed hope that Bayern Munich’s run of 10 Bundesliga titles in a row would soon be broken.
Carro is also hopeful that Bayer Leverkusen, third-place finishers in the past campaign, would hopefully be among the challengers.
“Someone will eventually succeed in breaking Bayern Munich’s streak. I hope it will happen as soon as possible. And I hope it will be us. We are working hard for that,” the CEO OLAL
BundesligaMunich, May 7, 2022 Bayern Munich’s chief executive Oliver Kahn believes the key to making the Bundesliga more competitive is for German Club sides to improve in the UEFA Champions League first.
Bayern Munich won their 10th straight Bundesliga title this season, leading to complaints about the lack of excitement at the summit of the German top-flight.
In contrast, Bayern Munich went out in the 20212022 UEFA Champions League last eight, with other German entrants long gone.
“More top stars in the league and excitement at the top are things that help sell TV rights at home and abroad. And it is precisely here that we have recently lost ground dramatically,” Kahn said on Saturday.
“We are happy to work with the German Football League (DFL) on solutions to help the top German clubs keep up in the UEFA Champions League as well.”
The DFL has said it may even consider play-offs at the top of the Bundesliga to try to restrict Bayern Munich’s dominance.
But Bayern Munich have laughed off the prospect and few fans think it is a serious plan.
The Bavarians have often complained they cannot compete in the transfer market with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester City, who are supported by Qatari and Abu Dhabi billionaires.
But Kahn thinks the 2020 UEFA Champions League winners must still continue to aim high.
“Without success in the UEFA Champions League, the entire Bundesliga will continue to lose ground in marketing, and that will then ultimately affect all clubs,” the 52-year-old added.
“It is our (Bayern Munich’s) goal to have a team that can play at the very top of the UEFA Champions League next season as well.
“So, we will automatically be favourites for the German championship title
RB Leipzig FC will look to stretch their unbeaten run on the road to a club record nine matches when they take on Augsburg on Saturday, with Julian Nagelsmann’s team an early dark horse in the Bundesliga title race of what will be a very busy season.
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Bundesliga – Bayer Leverkusen v RB Leipzig – BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany – September 26, 2020. RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann before the match. hilo Schmuelgen DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video
With quintuple winners Bayer Munich and Borussia Dortmund having already slipped up early, the pandemic-adjusted calendar will favour consistency more than in previous years.
Surprise Champions League semi-finalists in August, Leipzig have so far hardly missed a beat since the departure of top striker Timo Werner to Chelsea and top the standings on seven points.
With eight goals coming from seven different players in their first three Bundesliga games, Leipzig seem to have a plethora of options up front led by Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen.
Nagelsmann will not have a lot of time to prepare with close to 10 players returning gradually this week from national team duties. Marcel Sabitzer is also still doubtful after training alone following muscle problems.
But the coach could also have Ibrahima Konate back in the squad against Augsburg after the tall French central defender recovered from a hip injury and returned to team training.
Bayern, one point behind on six, will travel to Arminia Bielefeld after Thursday’s delayed German Cup first round against Dueren.
Promoted Arminia have not lost at home in the first and second division in more than a year and with many Bayern players playing their third or even fourth game in 10 days there could be room for a surprise.
“It is difficult to say,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said when asked if the frequency of games could have an effect on the team’s performance. “No one is complaining about the many matches. We have to accept the situation as it is.”
The champions’ busy schedule continues with the first Champions’ League group match against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and Flick is expected to rotate heavily until then.
Dortmund, also on six points, travels to Hoffenheim, with top striker Erling Haaland in superb form after his hat-trick for Norway in their 4-0 Nations League over Romania on Sunday.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Preparations for the new Bundesliga season are well underway but with just a few days to the opening round, careful accountants rather than eager coaches seem to be determining transfer policy.
While Leroy Sane cost champions Bayern 50 million euros (59.4 million dollars), that deal for the Germany winger was agreed early in the year.
It has however remains the high water mark for individual fees spent.
Instead many squads will be strengthened by players returning from loans and free transfers, rather from splashing the cash during the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 137 million euros has been spent so far by the 18 top-tier clubs in Germany, a massive reduction from 2019.
At this point last season, Borussia Dortmund had spent that amount almost on their own amid a league total of 700 million euros.
Andrea Agnelli, chief of the European Club Association (ECA) expects a 20-30 per cent reduction in the transfer market.
“This will be with small and medium-sized clubs most affected, though top players will not lose their value.”
Ulf Baranowsky, head of the VDV players union in Germany, said there was a trend to undo professionalism at clubs.
“Full-time (fourth-tier) regional league players are becoming paid free-time players on a mini-job basis,” he said.
Others are having to leave the game.
The contrary example is Kai Havertz leaving Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga for Chelsea in the Premier League.
The Londoners paid some 100 million euros for the midfielder and gave Bayer Leverkusen financial breathing space.
Other German players are also heading abroad, such as Timo Werner, Kevin Volland, Robin Koch, Luca Waldschmidt and Philipp Max.
2014 FIFA World Cup winner Mario Goetze is likely to join them after departing Borussia Dortmund.
Players yet to find a club have hope with the transfer window extended to Oct. 5 as a follow-on from the delay to last season.
Whether there are big money moves made late in the window, however, remains to be seen.
Even Bayern Munich, known for their savings account and high revenue streams, are watching their money carefully.
“As long as we have no fans in the stadium, Bayern Munich are down 50 million to 60 million euros,” honorary president Uli Hoeness said.
Eintracht Frankfurt are in a similar situation with a cut of 50 million to 75 million euros due to the coronavirus.
And this was calculated “conservatively” without transfer expenses, said sports director Fredi Bobic.
The coming year will see changes in the market, according to German football league (DFL) chief Christian Seifert.
“I don’t think that there will not be absolute top transfers again. But even they – I forecast now – would have been many times higher had it not been for the coronavirus.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
The upcoming season will be more challenging than last term, Christian Seifert, the head of the German Football League (DFL), said on Thursday.
His comments have come in an era where the coronavirus crisis has been continuing and different local authorities have agreed different rules on the return of fans.
Clubs from the Bundesliga and second division held a video conference where it was agreed that teams could continue with five substitutions in the new season starting on Sept. 18.
The number was increased from three last season because of the pandemic.
But there was less clarity from the virtual meeting about what will happen with fans this season.
Games were played behind closed doors when last season resumed from the coronavirus hiatus in May and June.
But local authorities have given RB Leipzig the go-ahead for 8,500 socially-distanced fans this term, the first Bundesliga side to receive such permission.
The issue and developments in the health crisis led DFL chief executive Seifert to make a major pronouncement at a news conference.
He said the new season would be “the most demanding and difficult season of professional football in Germany.
“The organisation and execution of this season will be many times more complicated than the end of last season,” he added.
German supporter organisation Unsere Kurve and Bayern state premier Markus Soeder have criticised the RB Leipzig plans.
“We think that self-interest is clearly in the foreground here,” Unsere Kurve director Jost Peter said.
Remarking on the club’s links to energy drinks maker Red Bull, he said it was not surprising “that a marketing company that plays football on the side is going it alone.’’
The fan group wants an overarching approach from the league to a return for fans not a patchwork system which relies on which German state the clubs are based.
“Football must not overestimate its importance,” added Peter, saying: “You can talk about distortion of competition.”
Top German politicians had said September would be too soon for some fans to return to stadiums but Germany’s federal system leaves the decisions up to the states.
A nationwide decree may not come until the end of October.
The German Cup will also have different rules on fans to the Bundesliga.
Soeder, tipped by many to be Angela Markel’s successor as chancellor, remains wary of letting a limited number of supporters back in.
“To allow football matches with fans again now, while at the same time the infection figures are rising, will be a bad signal,” he told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.
“A club with fans, the others without — that can’t be in the interest of either the league or the sport,” added the 53-year-old, who also wants “uniform rules for the Bundesliga.”
Seifert said he was “in principle” in favour of uniform rules, but rejected assertions that RB Leipzig having fans would make the Bundesliga an unfair competition if other clubs had empty stadiums.
“I think it is far too high-minded to talk about distortion of competition,” he said.
Seifert said he would continue to campaign for a return of some fans across the country, but he accepted that rising infection rates put authorities in a difficult position.
“Whether fans coming back is the right question to be posing in the current situation is absolutely justified and must be asked,” he added.
However, the DFL chief executive said spectators making a limited return to stadiums could also be “a very important and very positive sign.
“A sign that thousands of people are willing and able to comply with hygiene rules,” Seifert said.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Liverpool need help if they are to clinch a first domestic championship in 30 years this week and a familiar face could say farewell to the Bundesliga, which will also reveal new television deals.
In Spain meanwhile, the title race continues apace.
After a low-key draw at Everton on Sunday, Liverpool can only clinch the title at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday if Manchester City slips up at home to Burnley on Monday.
But after 30 years since their last English championship, a few days more is unlikely to make much difference.
A direct duel with City, in Manchester on July 2, would be their next chance to seal the deal if Pep Guardiola’s side also wins at Chelsea on Thursday.
How much will the German football league (DFL) pocket for the next batch of television rights for four seasons from 2021/22?
On Monday, the league will officially approve the results of rights auctions both for live games shown on subscription channels or streaming services and highlights packages.
More than 4.6 billion euros ($5.1 billion) was banked last time but the new amount is likely to feel the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Werder Bremen will enter the final round of Bundesliga fixtures on Saturday knowing they must win at home to Cologne or their 39-year stay in the Bundesliga will come to an end.
Even that might not be enough for the four-time champions to avoid just a second-ever relegation though.
Fortuna Dusseldorf in the play-off place above second last Bremen will live to fight another day with a win – and possibly even a draw – at Union Berlin.
Borussia Moenchengladbach will almost certainly secure Champions League football – and the pots of cash that come with it – with a draw at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Bayer Leverkusen is also in contention for the final spot in the elite competition but must defeat Mainz and hope for good news from Gladbach to make it.
Giant duel, Barcelona and Real Madrid are not letting the closed-door resumption of La Liga impede a thrilling title race.
Lionel Messi’s side slipped at Sevilla last weekend to open the door for grateful Real, who went narrowly ahead of their rivals by winning at Real Sociedad.
Neither have long to wait before resuming a hectic post-suspension schedule – Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday, Real Madrid welcome Mallorca a day later.
Atalanta’s emotional return to action in Bergamo, an area of Italy hit badly by the coronavirus, continues with plenty at stake for visiting Lazio on Wednesday.
The capital side are hot on the heels of serial champions Juventus and emerging unscathed from this test could indicate, finally, a title-holder could be crowned in Serie A.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Throughout the match, songs could be heard from the group of home fans who gathered in the forest behind the traditional home end of the stadium.
“We want to see the team,” was then chanted at full time and the players responded.
Goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz and several others went from the pitch to the stadium’s boundary fence and, standing on beer and picnic tables, briefly gave thanks for the support.
“We have got onto the tables and had a look,” said Robert Andrich. “That is naturally fantastic and at this time. Really nice.”
Andrich’s opening goal for the hosts was celebrated by the fans and police saw no need to intervene.
Berlin’s current coronavirus rules permit small gatherings and those outside the stadium observed social distancing.
However, fans gathering at stadiums for closed door games is supposed to be avoided.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Manuel Akanji were fined an unspecified amount by the German Football League (DFL) on Friday for failing to wear face mask during a visit from a hair dresser this week.
In total, six Dortmund players, including rising star Sancho and Akanji, got their hair cut by the visiting hairdresser, who then asked some of them to take pictures with him.
“It is clear that pro players also need to get their hair cut. But that has to happen in line with the medical and hygiene concept,” the DFL said in a statement.
“The fines are not against the club which is not seen as having a responsibility in this case.”
Bundesliga matches are played without fans and teams must adhere to strict health guidelines that regulate the process and operation of training sessions and games.
The league, with five rounds of matches left in the season, plans to finish by the end of the month.
Sancho also hit the headlines last weekend when he, after scoring, revealed an undershirt with the message ‘Justice for George Floyd’ — an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis after a white United States police officer knelt on his neck.
Sancho escaped any sanction after the German Football Association said players were free to show their support for protests over Floyd’s death.
German third division side Chemnitz on Monday confirmed that a player has tested positive for the coronavirus.
All players were tested on Thursday and returned negative, but a second round of testing on Saturday produced one positive.
The player who tested positive will enter 14-day quarantine at home, according to a club spokesperson.
Two further people will also enter quarantine despite testing negative as they had close contact with the player.
Chemnitz is fighting relegation to the fourth-tier of German football and has spoken out in favour of the third division resuming from suspension.
The German football federation (DFB) which is responsible for the league said last week that the intended restart date of May 26 could not be met.
It is unclear when the league will resume, but it seems certain matches would continue into July, posing a problem for players whose contracts expire at the end of June.
The top two divisions in Germany, run by the German football league (DFL) resumed at the weekend.
Dynamo Dresden’s second division match with Hanover, however, did not take place with the team quarantined following a number of positive tests at the club.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Obike Ukoh (NAN)