Wednesday's soccer news starts with what seems like a never ending story until it actually happens, European soccer leagues successfully restarting their seasons. Once again, the Bundesliga is in the lead with the German government agreeing that games can begin in May. The original plan was to restart the league on May 9 with that date now pushed to later in the month. ESPN's Stephen Uersfeld reports on the Bundesliga's situation.
Part of the issue in Germany is what seems to be the real threat of clubs running into significant financial issues. German clubs are different, with the 50+1 ownership rule requiring members to control the majority. That structure protects German clubs from the type of individual or corporate takeovers seen elsewhere in European soccer, but it also creates a different financial situation. It's one of the reasons players were so quick to consider reducing salaries and why the Bundesliga clubs qualifying for Europe gave a large amount of money back to struggling clubs.
The Bundesliga has no choice but to resume behind closed doors, but matchday revenue is a major component in the German version of soccer business. Empty stadiums are a drag on club finances, something that could eventually turn into another economic problem.
Meanwhile, the Premier League has it's own issues. As The Athletic's David Orstein reports, there are a series of questions over Project Restart that the Premier League asked the Premier League Doctors Group. While it needs stressing that the Premier League asked for that input, it raises potential problems now in front of the public that are tough to address over a limited timeframe. The Telegraph's Sam Wallace looks at the response to the Premier League's medical questions. The NY Times' Tariq Panja explains the pressure from teams in the lower half of the table. AP's Rob Harris also looks at the growing concerns with the Premier League's Project Restart.
That's in contrast to what's happening in Germany, but with reports of similar economic issues. Soccer clubs all over Europe are showing cash flow problems with the schedule suspended. That's a situation only helped by playing games, satisfying contracts, and keeping the economic value in their leagues. English clubs are rarely community owned anymore, with some including players asking why an economic downturn is so critical when most clubs were happily accruing money up until the suspension of the season. It's a fair question, one of several the Premier League's Project Restart may need to answer to get an agreement to resume the season.
The Scottish Daily Mail's StephenMcGowan reports on the Scottish Premier League and Football League asking for government money amid financial concerns. The Californian's Greg Warrington talks to San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski.
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