The Bundesliga has extended its ongoing suspension until April 2 but is prepared to complete the 2019-20 season behind closed doors to ensure clubs can survive a testing economic period.
Germany’s top flight was the last of Europe’s “big five” leagues to cease operations in light of the coronavirus outbreak, with only last weekend’s games confirmed as being postponed at the time.
However, following a meeting on Monday, the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) confirmed its hiatus would take in the forthcoming round of fixtures in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga before making a further call over whether to reconvene after what was supposed to be the March international break at the end of this month.
The move brings the Bundesliga into line with the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and Serie A, which have all announced suspensions up until the first weekend of April at this stage. Ligue 1 is on hold until further notice.
Speaking at a media conference in Frankfurt, DFL chief executive Christian Seifert explained playing the remaining matches this season without fans might become a financial necessity for all clubs to remain in business.
“Nobody is a fan of matches behind closed doors but, for many clubs, they may be the only way to keep clubs in business,” he said.
“I am aware that football is viewed as a billion-dollar business. But at the centre of it all is the game itself and the 56,000 jobs dependent on it every match day.
“Without sponsorship and TV income, those jobs and the very existence of clubs is in danger.”
UEFA will host a video conference on Tuesday to discuss how to proceed with the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020, with solutions for domestic competitions within the ongoing crisis also set to be on the agenda.
This week’s scheduled Champions League and Europa League fixtures, including Bayern Munich’s game against Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt’s respective ties with Rangers and Basel, were postponed.