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October 2020
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How other leagues are seeking a way through the crisis; another Untold exclusive

By Christophe Jost

We suggested in the last post that taking the Premier League to Cyprus could be a way through the current crisis – a way of playing out the rest of the season in a series of ghost games, while allowing us all to watch the whole series on TV.

So what is happening elsewhere in Europe?  Here’s the update.

Germany

The Bundesliga has, from what I’ve seen, the most concrete and detailed plans for restarting.  I guess that is the renowned German efficiency is on display once again.

It will be ghost games, players and staff will be tested before each game (which makes 20,000 to 25,000 tests in all).  The clubs have negotiated with broadcasters and reached financial agreement.  The imminent bankruptcy of certain clubs now seems now a remote possibility.

The target date for a restart of the league is May 9th, but it will depend on a government decision to be taken April 30th.

Switzerland

In Switzerland, TV revenue is lower then matchday revenue which puts some clubs in a difficult situation. With players furloughed, they can ‘survive’ on a tight budget, but if games resume, salaries have to be paid, yet there is no matchday income.

Now because of bankruptcy laws work in Switzerland, some clubs may then have to go to court and declare bankruptcy as loses reach the legal limit.

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A restart of the league is planned May 20th or May 30th depending on discussions with authorities.

France

All amateur football championships have been cancelled. The season has never happened…

Not much is being made public – or actually exists – in terms of plans to end the professional season.  All public events have been cancelled until mid-July by the government, so it does not appear to be an option.

Austria

A plan to play ghost games is being worked on, with a restart date around mid-May.

Italy

The date of the end of the season has been moved to August 2nd.  One proposal has games restarting after all players have had three weeks of quarantine in sports complexes.

One idea is for all the games to be played in Rome. But nothing is definitive yet.

Spain

The Spanish football association (RFEF) wanted to cancel the whole season. La Liga clubs have rejected that plan as the loss in TV revenue would cripple or bankrupt many clubs.

Meanwhile, politicians are suggesting that ghost games will be the means of playing until 2021. A plan to play all games in the principality of Andora in the middle of the Pyrenean alps has been mentioned.

Belgium

The season is to be cancelled and Brugge are the declared champions.

The Netherlands

The authorities have announced that no public event on a larger scale can take place before September 1st which makes it look as if that is the end of the 2019/20 season for the Eridivisie.   If that is the case and the season is cancelled, there will be no champion, no relegation or promotion.

Sweden

The league plans to resume on June 14th with normal games –  complete with spectators.

Belarus

The league started on March 20th an has been playing normally, with spectators ever since.  However, the news that at least 23 people have been infected with coronavirus at an orphanage for children with developmental disabilities in Belarus may well initiate a new discussion on the continuance of football in the country.

The Champions League and the Europa League

A decision so far is set for May 27th, with 2 strategies: playing them alongside the national championships or waiting until August and playing the competitions to the end at that time.

So as we see. there are as many options as there are countries.    There are two constants within most countries: ghost games and an end of the season that will be later than June 30th.

As yet no one is taking up our suggestion of playing all the games as ghost games in a country that has had little infection of the virus – such as Cyprus.  But that idea may yet come to pass, as the date of starting next season gets ever closer.

 

2 comments to How other leagues are seeking a way through the crisis; another Untold exclusive

  • Laos Gooner

    Curious about the Spanish idea of playing in Andorra, a country that boasts 3 stadia. I am a little surprised that more countries are not following Nederlands and voiding the whole season.

  • omgarsenal

    These incompetent and arrogant a**holes who ¨run¨ Football will follow the usual priority list,in most cases, but especially in the UK:

    1) No owner must lose any money if possible so every loss must be spread between players,coaches,lowerm level mangers, fans and supporters, the government and media/advertisers, etc.

    2) Players must be used as guinea pîgs to ¨see¨ if the propagation of the covid-19 virus can be avoided by playing games in empty stadia and forced isolation of the participants.

    3) A return to ¨normal¨ (people milking the cash cow that is Football; FIFA,EUFA,EPL, the sweet FA, owners, players agents, gambling syndicates, corrupt referees etc.) to ensure that life is good again, except for the commoner.