Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have come together to create a €20m (£18.3m) solidarity fund to help German clubs in the top two tiers stave off a potential financial crisis during the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany’s Bundesliga and second division are scheduled to resume in early April but the organising body’s (DFL) executive committee has recommended the season be suspended until at least 30 April, which will further impact clubs’ revenues.

Dortmund said the four clubs, who participated in the Champions League this season, will forego their share of the national media revenue – approximately €12.5m – and add €7.5m of their own.

“We are prepared to help out other professional football clubs if it is ultimately a matter of cushioning the financial effects of the pandemic,” Dortmund’s CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, said in a statement.

Dortmund are no strangers to an economic crisis, with the club nearly going bust in 2005, before Bayern came to their rescue with an interest-free loan so they could pay their players’ salaries.

The DFL executive committee will decide on the criteria for the distribution of the solidarity fund. “The DFL executive committee is very thankful to the four Champions League participants for their gesture towards our community of clubs,” said its spokesman Christian Seifert. “This initiative shows that solidarity is more than just lip service in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.”

Borussia Mönchengladbach’s players and coaching staff became the first in Germany to accept pay cuts during the coronavirus crisis this month, and players at Union Berlin have agreed to go without their wages.



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