Bundesliga won’t survive if it remains suspended, warns Dortmund boss

The BVB official is worried about the future of the competition if play isn’t allowed to resume soon

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke claimed the Bundesliga “will go under” if the season does not resume in the next few months.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the Bundesliga to be postponed last month but there are hopes the league could be allowed to stage games behind closed doors from May 9, although concerns have been raised that fans might gather outside stadiums.

There have been more than 206,900 Covid-19 casualties worldwide, with over 5,900 deaths in Germany.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc globally and the crisis is set to impact sport and organisations financially as Dortmund CEO Watzke urged a quick restart.

“If we don’t play in the next few months, all of Bundesliga will go under and then there wouldn’t be a league in the way we know it,” Watzke told Sky TV.

“Of course, many fans say: ‘There’s no desire for it, it’s not on television’, that is perfectly clear, but it’s about saving football!

“We are doing all we can to get back to work, we don’t want any special treatment, definitely not, but we don’t want to be at a disadvantage either.

“Football can play a relevant role in society, but that’s not the question, we have to do all we can to avoid that someone says football has special treatment.

“We don’t want to start with a special position, but, again, you can’t compare football with other more popular sports, we want to do our jobs.”

Dortmund were second – four points behind leaders and defending champions Bayern Munich – through 25 games when the Bundesliga was suspended.

Jorg Radek, deputy chairman of the German Police Trade Union, recently declared that the Bundesliga is wrong to believe that banning supporters in the stands is enough to ensure public safety.

“Maybe it is possible to control what is happening in the stadium. This does not apply to the public space in front of it. The stadiums become a potential target for fans who want to support their team,” Radek told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

“That would be devastating. We can’t have large crowds outside the stadium gates. It’s not only forbidden, it would be irresponsible.

“It becomes relevant to the police at that moment, we then have to ensure that the requirements that currently apply to behavior in public space are complied with: the requirement of a distance of one and a half meters, the ban on the assembly of large groups, the wearing of masks. 

“We will have to intervene in terms of maintaining security and order if this is not guaranteed.”