RB Leipzig chief executive officer Oliver Mintzlaff, in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, opened up on what he thinks about; the current situation in the Bundesliga, the responsibility of the clubs, the postponement of the European Championship, cuts at RB Leipzig and more.
Oliver Mintzlaff on ...
... The state of the league:
- "I'm not convinced that all will be back to normal in three weeks. Consequently, I'm also not convinced that we'll be playing football in packed stadiums in three weeks either. The situation will remain a tense one. We only decided not to play matchday 27 on Monday. The clubs will come together again and discuss how we proceed. Of course, that will depend on how coronavirus spreads and which measures the federal government takes. We'll have to adjust for that.
... The clubs' responsibility:
- "Mr. Siefert was right; at the end of the day, lots of clubs are middle-sized businesses, which employ between 250 and 800 people. We need to take on the responsibility for these businesses, because the longer this lasts, the more it threatens the existence of some clubs. We all but hope that we, somehow, play the whole Bundesliga season. Cancelling would have massive economic consequences. One or two clubs would be in big trouble."
... Postponing EURO 2020:
- "The league now has a bit more time. But whether we play the rest of the season doesn't depend on postponing the Euros, but on the development of the pandemic. None of us are experts in virology. None of us have experienced a situation like this. It's right that the Euros have been postponed. Anything else would've been ridiculous and impossible to carry out. Now can be flexible enough to play the season until 30 June."
- "Our plan is to meet on Friday and inform the team on our next steps. Eight days ago, we were playing in the Champions League. The developments in the past week have been insane. The players have been working out at home in order to stay in shape. Our coaching team are in discussions with Markus Krösche as to how training will look exactly. Whether and how we train is not yet confirmed.
We have a great responsibility towards our players and their families. We take our role as a football club in this society very seriously and aren't taking this situation lightly. We definitely aren't saying that nothing can happen to us and that we can do whatever we want. We're considering how we can minimise the risk of spreading the virus. How many people are needed at training? Can our video analyst work from home? It's an extreme situation for us all, in which we need to bounce ideas of each other and therefore make as few mistakes as possible."
... Cuts at RB Leipzig:
- "We have more than 400 employees. Our top priority is that we don't have to cut any jobs. In the last few days, we drew up a set of budgetary measure, which lay out the reduction and economisation, as well as the cutting, of investments and campaigns, which bare n necessity in the current situation.
"We too have had to make drastic cuts already. All those people, who believe that Red Bull can stop any gap, are wrong. At some point, not even RB Leipzig will be able to take the continued postponement of the Bundesliga. From now, we will put our focus on the core business. Lots of things will have to be put on ice. We won't be setting up any new infrastructure in 2020. It's a tense situation for us all. But, our goal remains for every employee to keep their job. We'll continue to strive towards that goal."
- "We took some credit as a start-up, that wouldn't be new for us. We're looking at all possible scenarios. Sponsorships, TV deals, ticket sales - these are all missing. As of now, it's not unforseen that the Bundesliga returns different to how we know it. We getting ready for all situations and are checking our liquidity. Of course we can't transfer salaries late for an indefinite period, in the case that matchday income continues to be missing. It's simple maths. That goes for RB Leipzig and all other clubs."
... social support:
- "Cuts mean that unfortunately we will not be able to undertake any external projects. But of course we have a lot of responsibility in the city. We're conscious of this and don't want to shirk this duty in these tough times. Only; we need to do our homework. If we get our own situation in order and stabilise things, then we will look at how we can help out in Leipzig. In times where solidarity is required, we'll step up too. Not just with words, but by doing!"