Coronavirus: Top Bundesliga clubs pledge €20m to support smaller clubs

The Bundesliga's four Champions League clubs have created a coronavirus support fund to aid other German teams struggling financially.

Bundesliga ball   -  Bongarts

Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have vowed to make €20million available to support Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga clubs struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The German football season is on hold at least until April 30 due to the spread of COVID-19, which has infected almost 40,000 people in Germany – the third most-affected European nation.

Suspension of the campaign is set to have major consequences on the finances of many clubs, with the situation forcing some to implement salary cuts or similar measures.

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Players of Bundesliga side Union Berlin are waiving their salaries to aid the wider business, but a new approach from Germany's four Champions League sides should help alleviate the strain on many teams in the top two divisions.

A statement released on Thursday by the German Football League (DFL) confirmed the €20m support fund will be created by the four clubs initially foregoing "their share of the undistributed national media revenue of the DFL in the coming season".

That figure, which stands at €12.5m, will be supplemented by contributions from the clubs' own resources.

"This campaign underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga is not lip service. The DFL Presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs," DFL spokesman Christian Seifert said.

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Bayern CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge added: "Together with the three other Champions League participants, we want to send a signal of solidarity to all clubs in the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga with this initiative.

"In these difficult times, it's important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders. With this, we also want to show that football is standing together right now."

The DFL will decide on matters relating to the distribution of the €20m.

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