The increased likelihood that all German Bundesliga clubs will have to forgo fans entirely within two weeks plunges financially stretched clubs into an even deeper revenue crisis.
Speaking on local Sunday television program "SWR Sport", VfB Stuttgart chairmen Thomas Hitzlsperger conceded the topic of player salary deferments are once again on the table.
Both Hitzlsperger and his sporting director noted that the club cannot even begin to consider contract extensions at this juncture.
Without the gate receipts, VfB Stuttgart simply cannot make it happen. "We always said that if the pandemic continues along its current course, when there we have no spectators in the stadium, we would have to reassess," Thomas Hitzlsperger told regional television on Sunday, "this affects all of us."
VfB sporting director Sven Mislintat, brought in from Arsenal FC to help Hitzlsperger build a sustainable future for the Baden-Württemberg club, confirmed that any and all talk about contract extensions are off the table in lieu of the current developments.
This affects five of the team's current starters, who all have contracts expiring at the end of the season. Current team captain Gonzalo Castro, scorer of the decisive goal in this weekend's win over Hertha BSC, cannot begin negotiations with the club for a contract extension under the current circumstances.
The transaction-freeze even applies to Mislintat himself, whose contract runs out at the end of the campaign. "The principle applies to everyone, even myself," the manager said.
Speaking to German footballing magazine Kicker shortly after opting to charge a symbolic cost of €18,93 for 8,000 tickets in the Bundesliga's first round, Hitzlsperger said: "The club won't try to get every red cent from its fans. We'll take a hit here."
"There's still no sense in pretending that everything is wonderful," Hitzlsperger then continued, "We'll face decisions soon."