“FC Schalke 04 has recently run into financial difficulties due to the Corona crisis. The Royal Blues asked their fans for help in a begging letter and are probably the first Bundesliga club to introduce a salary cap.
In the future, no player should earn more than 2.5 million euros per season. Measures that are obviously not enough to defuse the club’s precarious financial situation.
According to the Handelsblatt and Bild, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to secure a loan from Schalker with a guarantee of between 30 and 40 million. The loan comes from a banking consortium. Should Schalke fail to serve him in the next four years, the public purse would step in.
The Ministry of Finance declined to comment, citing the secrecy of the guarantee. NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) also invoked the guarantee secret. The 59-year-old was asked at a press conference about the possible guarantee for Schalke. Laschet was pushing around. “The problem is that you can’t even confirm that there is an application at all. All I can say is that i don’t know there’s a decision,” Laschet said. He also did not know whether other clubs had any particular problems as a result of the pandemic: “That is not to me.”
“No Lex Schalke”
In general, however, since 1995 there have been guarantees for football and sports clubs under each state government. However, such requests must, in principle, be treated strictly confidentially and examined. Public speculation is rife. “There will certainly be no Lex Schalke,” Laschet said.
Schalke had reported liabilities of EUR 197 million for the 2019 financial year. The loss of revenue caused by the Corona crisis caused additional financial problems. Next season, the club will have to forego the revenue from a European competition because David Wagner’s team experienced a dramatic crash in the return round. Schalke won only one of 17 games and finished the season in 12th place in the table.
Protests against club boss Tönnies
The dramatic financial and poor sporting situation are not the only construction sites of the district club. During protests last Saturday at the Berger Feld club grounds, fans had called for the resignation of chairman of the supervisory board, Clemens Tönnies. He continues to be under massive pressure as head of the company and as boss of the Bundesliga.
At the headquarters of the Tönnies meat company in the district of Gütersloh, well over 1000 employees had been infected with the coronavirus. That is why there has been strong criticism of the working conditions in the company. Many Schalke fans are calling for Tönnies to resign from the Royal Blues.