How the German Football League is bouncing back post the corona pandemic


Without any doubt, one can claim that the year 2020 started on a wrong foot with the pandemic of the CoronaVirus.

Needless to mention, this pandemic has clawed its talons in the entire human society with the rules of social distancing, lockdown, As some countries are looking towards lowered rates of CoVID-19 infections, they are slowly easing down the rules and regulations with the lockdown factors.

We are all aware that the primary target of lockdown in any country was to hinder mass gatherings like audiences in stadiums, theatres, restaurants, etc. With the easing of lockdowns, these gatherings are implicated within social distancing norms. Germany’s football league has already restarted, which proves to be the stepping-stones towards returning life to normalcy.

German Football League: Quick Summary

As the name suggests, German Football League is a football league tournament organized primarily in Germany. It is known by names such as Bundesliga or Fußball-Bundesliga as well. The fact that makes this tournament quite famous is the average rate of stadium attendance, which is highest in the world. This league tournament was founded in 1963. Since then Fifty-Six clubs have taken part in this competition.

The primary season of Bundesliga starts from August till May with 18 teams competing against each other. The games are usually arranged on weekends with some exceptions on the weekdays. The rules are quite simple; each team gets to play two games, one in their home ground and another in the non-home ground. The team with the maximum points at the end of the league gets to be the winner.

Restarting German Football League post-Corona

Europe has been one of the worst-hit continents in the Corona Pandemic. As per the Worldometer website, there are more than 2 million cases alone in the continent of Europe. However, the infected rates have lowered recently, which has prompted to ease lockdown. One such effect is Restarting the German Football League with some restrictions in place.

The German Football league has been the first major European Football League to resume its operations post the pandemic lockdown. This resumption has of course sought some considerable backlash from the fans of the league. The renewal of the tournament will observe all the measures that would be required to contain the spread of the virus.

Some of the measures include:

  • Empty Stadiums: There will be no real crowd to cheer their favorite team present in the stadiums to witness the live matches.
  • Contactless Games: The players and the referees will observe contactless matches without any handshakes. Group celebrations or photos before kick-off are prohibited as well.
  • Restricted Entries: While the audience is strictly prohibited inside the stadiums, up to 300 personnel are allowed inside the stadium for any match. This includes players, coaches, club executives, journalists, security & maintenance people, firefighters, medical staff, and police.
  • Social Distancing: While players and referees would be on the ground for the game, the other staff must be restricted to the designated boxes for adhering to social distancing norms.
  • No Children: No children will be present along with the players in any of the matches since kids might be at higher risk of infection when exposed.
  • Mandatory Masks: All the personnel present in the field would need to abide by the mandatory masks rule except the players. Besides, coaches would be allowed to remove them while speaking out instructions to their respective time maintaining a distance of a minimum of 1.5 meters.
  • Virtual Cheering: To liven up the empty stadiums and uplift the spirits of the players, many clubs have decided to arrange for cardboard cutouts and sounds of cheering fans.

General Sentiment on reinstating the German Football League

It has been discussed earlier that there is a severe backlash from the fans of the German Football League with regards to restarting the league. The primary reason is considered as missing the excitement of the live matches since the games would be played in empty stadiums.

However, virologists also have naysay in resuming the league. They are of the opinion that even though the stadiums would be empty, the 300 odd people who would be allowed inside the stadium during the matches would pose a high risk to the virus exposure thereby potentially bringing the count of affected individuals in the country.

Commercial Viability on German Football League Resumption

It is quite evident that despite the multiple threats of the virus infection, the resumption of the league is done primarily because of commercial reasons. The main commercial standpoint of resuming the games is the purchase of marketing and broadcasting rights that are way before the season starts. Therefore, the league is compelled to deliver, which otherwise would result in the loss of valuable partners.

While rights to broadcasting or marketing can be saved, the cost of empty stadiums cannot be salvaged. A survey by the famous Kicker magazine stated that First and Second Division clubs would face an estimated loss of about €87 million, simply because of the empty stadiums. This blow would be softened for the First and Second Division clubs in place of less VAT payment for the refunded tickets.

This pandemic has finally shed some light on the open secret that most of the clubs are not ready for a rainy day as such since they are more focused on buying new expensive players. Instead, they should have a reserve fund to stay afloat for such dire situations. It would be better if the clubs undergo some major financial restructuring in light of this current Corona crisis.

Is there an effect on the game’s image?

There is no definite answer to this question. While resumption might cheer up clubs but endure, a ghostly empty field during a match might prove to be daunting to the players. Besides, if there are always high risks of infection spread that might taint the image of the league or the game was well leading up to various medical and legal litigations. Time can provide the best answer if the scheme would prove to be successful or not.