Augsburg’s president drills fingers deep in the wound of the other clubs
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Augsburg’s President Klaus Hofmann is known as a strong opinion boss. The upheavals among Bundesliga competitors due to the Corona crisis are a thorn in his side. He feels “like in the wrong movie”
DAccording to Klaus Hofmann, FC Augsburg is economically surviving this season without any existential problems. With a view to the competition in the Bundesliga, the club president called for “drastic changes” to the financial rules.
“If there are professional clubs that are no longer liquid at the end of May and therefore basically only financed for a month, that is no longer acceptable,” he told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” at the weekend. “If you read that one or the other club has already ceded its future television revenue, ie pledged it, then you can speak a bit of distortion of competition.”
Because of the compulsory stop due to the effects of the corona pandemic, all clubs are currently lacking TV and viewer revenues, and some teams are in acute economic imbalance. The FCA can look more optimistically into the future thanks to sound business practices and reserves built up in recent years, said Hofmann – even with a worst-case scenario. “If the 2019/2020 season did not end, which is currently not up for discussion, the FCA would survive,” clarified Hofmann. He did not rule out a capital increase.
Hofmann wants to go “another way” with Augsburg
Augsburg’s managing director Michael Ströll had previously reassured all employees and players that there would initially be no insolvency in the next few weeks. “If we don’t play until the end of June, we as FCA are not at risk of bankruptcy, but the situation would also get worse for us,” he said.
However, if the game is dormant for longer, it could be financially critical for the Swabians. “If there was no income even beyond June, it would probably only be a matter of time for many clubs before they can no longer pay. We would also be no exception, ”said Ströll.
However, his boss, known as a strong-minded entrepreneur (fire protection) and club president, criticized the use of short-time work for rich Bundesliga rivals in this context.
“When I read that football clubs with a turnover of a few hundred million euros send their office employees on a short-time basis, I feel like I’m in the wrong movie,” he said. Among others, Eintracht Frankfurt, Schalke 04 or VfL Wolfsburg had registered short-time work for employees.
The 52-year-old wants to go “another way” with the FCA, “without having to resort to government support immediately,” he said. “We have worked out so many strategic projects in the office that we can now work through and advance in this football-free period. Everyone will be busy there, ”said Hofmann.
The FCA has not yet used the short-time allowance itself – a possible waiver of the player’s salary is currently being discussed. In addition to their rudimentary training, the professionals have recently also been involved in some of the association’s aid and donation campaigns.
Hofmann believes that the Bundesliga will become more attractive to players in the crisis. Professionals should “be able to trust that they will get their money even if they sign contracts in Germany. Take a look at Italy and Spain, where player salaries are sometimes cut by 70 percent so that clubs can survive. There will certainly be a lot of players licking their fingers if they are allowed to play in the Bundesliga, ”he said. “Germany will be a very attractive target for professional footballers for the next one, two, three years.”
Hofmann does not expect major changes in the squad for the Bundesliga teams. “I believe that there will be no major upheavals in the squad in the summer, but only selective adjustments. The players who have a contract in the Bundesliga want to keep it, they won’t get a better one, ”he said. “It will probably be the same at FC Augsburg.”
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