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May 2020
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So it’s German football on TV – and its 1-0 to BT Sprout

by Sir Hardly Anyone.

The German League is up and running again, and so is the Sprout which has the rights to show their games.  The current deal says BT can show five games a week, but it seems likely that they will negotiate a change to that, as the ghost games come thick and fast.  So its German football wall to wall, or something like that.   With no other football available they might even get quite an audience.

Indeed everyone it seems has reached an agreement.  16 May is kick off day.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chief executive of Bayern Munich says his side a raring to go.  Bayern are four points clear with nine games to go.

And this is a perfect event for the German League given that it has become as boring as a solidly boring thing that has decided to become even more boring – at least in terms of winners.  You might want to focus properly on this table to make sure nothing is misunderstood.

Season Winners
2013/14 Bayern Munich
2014/15 Bayern Munich
2015/16 Bayern Munich
2016/17 Bayern Munich
2017/18 Bayern Munich
2018/19 Bayern Munich
2019/20 Bayern Munich ?

Speaking for the whole league, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said (because really they are the whole league), “We are now looking forward to resuming play, ideally from mid-May. This ensures that the sporting decisions are made on the pitch and not in the boardroom.

“I would like to expressly thank the DFL and the medicine task force for the excellent organisational and medical plans. I appeal to everyone involved to follow the guidelines in these plans, which are the basis for resuming play, in an exemplary and disciplined manner.”

Christian Seifert, MD of the German Football League said, “Today’s decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga. It is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner.

“Ghost games are not an ideal solution for anyone. In a crisis threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form. On this day, I would like to thank the political decision-makers from the federal and state governments for their trust.”

Additionally, the clubs have been in training for a month, and they plan to finish the season properly playing the games in the stadia where they should be played, and finishing by the end of June, when contracts come to an end.

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So they have a testing regime, and quarantine time organised, and only a few clubs speaking out against the idea.

Werder Bremen has a problem with its local government who at the moment are not licensing the stadia, and the occasional player (such as Salomon Kalou) has been suspended for breaking the rules on isolation.  But these difficulties are rare.

The Guardian is reporting that “Domestic matches in both Croatia and Serbia are set to resume on 30 May” with ghost games also being played there subject to government approval.

In England however, there are serious concerns, arguments, disagreements, uncertainties, differences, and other things of the same sort, not least because of the way the virus is continuing to move through communities.  Tests are being carried out on the Isle of Wight, so perhaps the rest of the season will be played out there.

Some medical experts have written to the Premier League saying that they don’t think it is safe to start up matches again.   Pubs won’t be allowed to have games on TV for many months, according to the media.

But still, who minds.  We can all watch BT Sprout.  As long as you don’t believe that what the newspapers say is anything remotely like what is really happening in world football.

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