Bundesliga News

Leverkusen chief on TV-revenue reform:
"It's out of the question"

By Peter Vice

In an interview with Germany's "Sport Bild", Bayer 04 Leverkusen's CEO made clear that his club stood firmly against the new television revenue-sharing model being proffered by as many as 14 professional first and second tier Bundesliga clubs.

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Calling the issue "out of the question" and a total "non-starter", Leverkusen boss Fernando Carro struck back at a progressive reform initiative being floated around the DFL table recently. Some 15 Bundesliga clubs wish to cap the amount of TV-revenue redistribution awarded to the 18 top flight Bundesliga clubs at 80 percent.


"When a majority of second-league Bundesliga clubs decide how much the first tier receives in TV incomes the top divisions receive, that can lead to a permanent split between the two leagues," Carro told the magazine.

"We shouldn't forget the solidarity funds from the European club cup competitions, which go directly to the second division clubs," Carro continued, "If the second-tier also wants to reach into the international TV pot, that goes too far for me."

Carro expressed dismay that this discussion was taking place in "a time of crisis" and adding, "Why should those who have done a better job get less and those who have done a worse job get more in these of all times? Now is not the time for a revolution, but adjustments compatible with the situation."

Carro's outspoken views may still not reflect the view of a majority of administrators currently operating within German football. The revenue crisis brought upon by vanished gate receipts in the COVID era leave many German clubs teetering on the edge of collapse. Historically fan-owned German clubs are at greater risk than, for example, EPL clubs backed by international investors with deep pockets.

With respect to Germany, the "streaming wars" are expected to bring the Bundesliga millions, possibly even a billion, in extra revenue. A challenge to SkySports' dominance on behalf of US Giant Amazon and domestic broadcaster DAZN (backed by Comcast/NBC Universal) have already upped the league's television contract via a bidding war last spring.


The next corporate showdown is set for 2022, when the various players will seek to divvy up the rights for broadcasts of other domestic leagues around Europe and the British Isles.

Carro label any discussion of TV revenue reform within the 36 clubs under the DFL purview "populist" and "hypocritical".


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