Bundesliga licensing rules relaxed to assist clubs
German professional soccer’s DFL has relaxed licensing rules in the top-flight Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga with all games in the competitions now suspended until at least 30 April amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
At a DFL ordinary assembly meeting yesterday, which took place via video conference, it was unanimously agreed that both leagues will remain suspended until the end of the month, although the plan is still to complete the season by 30 June.
Due to the suspended games, the DFL said licensing rules for the 36 clubs in the top two divisions “are being adapted to the situation temporarily” as they are facing “largely unforeseeable challenges through no fault of their own.”
The DFL and the clubs have agreed on specific financial measures allowing teams to deal with any liquidity issues.
The German soccer body said its aim is “to give all of the clubs the time and opportunity to deal with the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and resume regular match operations so that the competitions can be completed on the pitch.”
As a result, the penalty of a nine-point deduction for clubs which initiate insolvency proceedings has been suspended for the current season, while the points deduction for insolvency next season has been reduced to just three points.
In addition, clubs will not undergo liquidity checks to obtain a licence for the 2020-21 season.
However, the DFL said it will bring forward its examination of economic performance for next season from the end of October to mid-September “in order to obtain a realistic overview of the economic situation of the individual clubs as soon as possible on the basis of their financial statements as of 30 June 2020.”
In addition, the DFL outlined that if the any liquidity shortfalls identified in the course of this examination are not resolved, there will be no points deduction for the respective club, with a restriction on their player transfer activities instead.
The licensing process will return to normal for the 2021-22 season.
The licence for each club acts as a prerequisite for permission to participate in Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches. The licence comes into effect through a contract between the DFL and the club and is valid for one season.
DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said team training cannot begin again before 5 April, but that “nothing has changed” with regard to ending the current season by the end of June.
Despite acknowledging that this could be extended into July, Seifert made it clear that “a new season has to start at some point.”
Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said it is “imperative” for the season to finish “to keep the financial damage as low as possible.”