Could the Bundesliga actually be in trouble because of the coronavirus?
The boss of one of its marquee squads seems to think so. And that is something for soccer bettors at BetAnySports to consider.
Hans-Joachim Watzke is the chief executive at Borussia Dortmund, which was in second place in Germany’s top soccer circuit when play came to a temporary end on March 11. And whether he is acting in self-service or not, Watzke is probably echoing what a lot of Bundesliga people feel when he cautions about what could happen without a substantive plan in place for a return to action.
In an interview he had with Sky TV, Watzke said that “If we don’t play in the next few months, all of Bundesliga will go under and then there won’t be a league in the way we know it.”
He favors playing, even if the number of fans in stadiums is limited, and had been targeting a return on May 9. Dortmund trails Bayern Munich by four points in the standings, and nine match days were left.
But after a video conference on Thursday, where Chancellor Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the overall COVID-19 situation, a decision about when the league can possibly come back to play was put back until next week.
That means May 9 is very much off the table.
Watzke is not necessarily being too much of an alarmist. Many of the teams in Bundesliga have players on loan and contracts which would be expiring on June 30, and it would take a lot of negotiating to make adjustments to things like, especially as there are teams in leagues outside of Germany who may be involved in these arrangements. How those clubs react might depend on what is happening – or not happening, as it were – with plans for their own leagues to return.
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Bundesliga teams have been getting together in small groups to work out together, although full practices have not been authorized. The general consensus is that a ten-day training period would be necessary before the first match is played.
And when that first match is played, some safeguards are going to be in place.
Everyone who is associated with each of the 36 teams (this is inclusive of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2) will be tested for coronavirus twice a week up until at least the end of June.
Of course, there are restrictions on the number of people who can congregate in one place at one time. And there would be no more than 322 in any of the stadiums at any one time. But an overlying concern on the part of public officials is that there could be large gatherings of fans outside the stadium, thus defeating the purpose of the restriction in the first place.
And the hope that these fans could keep a safe distance between each other, while at the same time wearing face masks, may just be wishful thinking. If there is an incident or a flareup because the fans did not conduct themselves properly, it could have a negative effect in terms of carrying on.
And then there would be some concerns as to whether the soccer league is getting special treatment, vis-a-vis activities in parks and the like that are currently closed to the public. But with all respect to the dissenters, the internal caution the Bundesliga intends to exercise is going to be extensive.
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