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Bundesliga Restart Hailed a Success

While the authorities and competition providers in England seem to be plodding through a sea of treacle in their bid to get Premier League football restarted, the Bundesliga relaunched itself in Germany over the weekend and it was deemed to be a success.

Germany is a mile in front of the UK in terms of the reactions to Covid-19, and its success in combatting the virus so far gave its main football league sufficient confidence to get itself going again.

There was a mixed bag of fixtures ranging from the Ruwer Derby between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04, where the hosts, despite an empty “Yellow Wall” won easily 4-0 and Union Berlin v Bayern Munchen which the reigning 7-year champions won 2-0 in a match that didn’t necessarily reflect the tremendous efforts of the team from the capital.

I think it’s fair to say the European football world was watching in earnest at proceedings in central Europe and at the visible measures put in place to maximise protection against the killer virus. Social distancing arrangements and face masks were very much in evidence, but I’m not sure that Dedryck Boyata’s full-on kiss of a colleague when he scored was what the doctored ordered.

In England, we constantly from hear, from Oliver Dowden, that “We are making very good progress”, but among our colleagues, it really doesn’t feel like that. There still seems to be an absence of involvement and engagement with Safety Officers and more and more it feels as though a set of conditions will be imposed on us.

Hardly a day passes without a high profile footballer expressing his concerns over the restart. Aguero, Rose, Deeney, Abrahams, Willian and Sterling among others have all expressed a desire to get going but only when it is safe to do so. Some have already suggested that as there has been no clear directive, 12 June seems to be optimistic at best. Their thoughts are as much around fitness as anything else. Even cameramen working for the broadcasters have expressed fears.

More meetings are scheduled for this week, but the table below shows the reason that Germany could be more confident that England at the current stage:

Germany                                                      UK

Date                                New Cases                   Deaths                    New Cases              Deaths

11 May                               697                              92                             3877                         210

12 May                              595                              77                             3403                         627

13 May                              927                            123                            3242                         494

14 May                              877                              67                            3446                         428

15 May                              724                              73                           3560                          384

16 May                             545                               26                           3450                         468

17 May                             407                               22                           3534                         170


The table tells its own Story and explains why clear direction in England is difficult at this time and the concept of starting in a month’s time is clearly based upon expectations that new cases and deaths will reduce more into the line of Germany over the interim period.

Entry to German stadiums was a two-tier process whereby people such as journalists has to complete a “contact” form and state they had not been in touch with any sufferers and then have a thermal screening process for real-time fever temperature.

It was also noted that despite Saturday’s opening match being a local derby, no fans at all turned up at the Signal Iduana Park. In the first round of English fixtures we will see Everton v Liverpool (!)

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