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Germany’s ‘big four’ to make solidarity payment to other clubs

Germany's Bundesliga is planning a return to action behind closed doors (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

German Bundesliga football clubs Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have pledged to provide €20m ($22m) to support clubs in the top tier and the second-tier 2. Bundesliga amid a period of uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The clubs, which each competed in the 2019-20 Uefa Champions League campaign, will forego their share of the as-yet undistributed national media revenue from the German Football League (DFL) next season.

The DFL sum amounts to around €12.5m, and the four clubs have pledged to provide around €7.5m from their own resources. The DFL executive committee will decide on the criteria for how the funds will be distributed.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “Together with the three other Champions League participants, we want to send a signal of solidarity to all clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga with this initiative. In these difficult times, it’s important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders. With this, we also want to show that football is standing together right now.”

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke added: “We have always said that we would show solidarity if clubs, through no fault of their own, should run into difficulties that they can no longer overcome themselves. BVB is currently having a major impact on society through a wide range of initiatives. And naturally we are prepared to help out other professional football clubs if it is ultimately a matter of cushioning the financial effects of the pandemic.”

Earlier this week, the German Football League (DFL) announced that the suspension of the country’s top two leagues would continue until April 30 at least. The DFL also postponed its invitation to tender for domestic Bundesliga broadcast rights from 2021-22 to 2024-25 due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.