The clubs have suffered massive fines as a result of the Corona crisis. A look at the transfers shows how much the crisis affects them.
Berlin (dpa) – Shortly before the start of the season, the Bundesliga transfer market is mainly thrifty.
Hardly any German club spends large sums of money, Leroy Sané is and will likely remain the king’s transfer this year. FC Bayern Munich paid around 50 million euros for the German national player, who is returning to the Bundesliga after four years.
However, the majority of the league newcomers for the 2020/21 season are players who return to the club after a loan. In addition, a particularly large number of players change for free. So far, all Bundesliga clubs together have spent a good 137 million euros on new players. That amounts to a massive slump in the market.
In the previous season, around the same time, Borussia Dortmund alone had already spent so much money. The total volume of the league was even around 700 million euros.
Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European club association ECA, also expects the transfer market to collapse by 20 to 30 percent. Medium-sized and small clubs are particularly affected. “Top players will not lose their worth,” said Agnelli. In fact, the pandemic-related revenue shortfalls hit especially the lower professional leagues hard.
“As a players union, we are even observing a trend towards deprofessionalization in many places. Full-time regional league players are then turned into paid after-work footballers on a mini-job basis,” said Ulf Baranowsky from the VDV players’ union of the German Press Agency. For some players there is even a reorientation.
One of the few counterexamples and costly transfers is the move from national player Kai Havertz to Chelsea. He left Bayer Leverkusen for around 100 million euros and provided at least a temporary financial cushion for Leverkusen.
In general, some German players moved abroad. Timo Werner, Kevin Volland, Robin Koch, Luca Waldschmidt and Philipp Max have left the Bundesliga. Mario Götze’s departure abroad is also considered likely. The ex-national player, most recently under contract with BVB, is currently without a club.
For some players who don’t have a fixed contract yet, there is still hope. Due to the corona pandemic, the transfer market is open much longer than usual. The clubs can buy additional players until October 5th, after the third match day. However, it seems rather doubtful whether there will be any big and, above all, expensive surprises.
Even the otherwise very liquid Bavarians are paying particular attention to money this year. The Corona crisis has also affected them, especially due to empty stadiums. “As long as we don’t have any spectators in the stadiums, FC Bayern will also be missing 50 to 60 million euros,” said Bayern honorary president Uli Hoeneß of the Sport1 channel.
It looks similar at Eintracht Frankfurt. According to “Bild am Sonntag”, Eintracht expects a decrease of “50 to 75 million in sales” due to the Corona crisis. This was also “still calculated conservatively” without transfer expenses, said sports director Fredi Bobic.
In the coming years, the transfer market will change, predicted the managing director of the German Football League (DFL), Christian Seifert, on Tuesday. “I do not think that there will be no more absolute top transfers, but even those – I predict now – would have been many times higher if there hadn’t been Corona.”
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