In the course of creating a new overall schedule for the 2020-21 season, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga on Wednesday last week, asked the clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 for their thoughts on various planning options. This approach, initiated by the Executive Committee of the DFL, is intended to find out which model a majority of the clubs would support under the current conditions.
A new overall Bundesliga schedule is needed because the current 2019-20 season is to continue longer than planned as a result of the temporary suspension due to coronavirus – the final relegation play-off will not be decided until 11 July.
Numerous aspects must be considered as part of the planning. Account must be taken of the dates of the DFB-Pokal and especially the further rounds of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League from the 2019-20 season, which will be played in August. Additionally, the matches of both competitions next season must be considered. Other relevant factors include FIFA’s windows for international matches and the UEFA EURO, which has been postponed by a year to 11 June 2021.
Given this scheduling situation, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are faced with complex challenges with regard to sporting and economic planning. The models presented for the clubs’ feedback each include a different number of mid-week matchdays. Among other factors, they are to be assessed with regard to sporting and organizational aspects and potential financial risks in the light of the current media contract agreements. These include up to two, or in justified exceptional cases, three, mid-week matchdays.
For the Bundesliga (planned season start: 18 September), an alternative to a higher number of mid-week matchdays in the coming season is a shortened winter break. In Bundesliga 2, a shortened winter break and starting the season as early as 28 August are both options. This would mean that the second matchday of Bundesliga 2 would be played during the FIFA window for international matches at the start of September.
In the interests of certainty in sporting and organizational planning, the aim is to make a prompt proposal to the Executive Committee of the German Football Association (DFB), which is responsible for approving the overall schedule. The final overall schedule for the 2020-21 season will be released following a corresponding resolution by the DFB Executive Committee.