Munich’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge fears ‘big damage’ from games without fans, Newsline

BERLIN – Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge fears that football faces big danger if games have to continue being played behind closed doors.

Should the season even have to be abandoned owing to the coronavirus a number of clubs would not survive, he told Sunday paper Bild am Sonntag.

Germany ended the past season behind closed doors and while fans are in theory allowed back in now, the final saying is with health authorities who make decisions based on local infection levels.

While Borussia Dortmund had 11,500 fans twice in the Bundesliga, Bayern are not allowed any spectators until at least October 25. Other clubs have only had small numbers of fans back.

“If we don’t have fans back in the stadiums soon I fear that football will suffer big damage,” said.

“We are really speaking about less income in the region of €100 million ($118 million). All over Europe every club is losing between €50 million and up to €200 million in a season it has to play without fans. It is easy to see how long a club can bear this.”

Rummenigge also fears losing the football fan culture and said they are completely dependent on decisions from political and health authorities.

Looking at the worst-case scenario with an abandoned season, Rummenigge fears that the Bundesliga will collapse.

“Several Bundesliga clubs won’t survive. Several,” he said. “I can’t imagine the Bundesliga to continue existing in its current form in the future. Even under the current conditions there are rumours that some clubs are in fear of insolvency,” Rummenigge said.

DPA