In the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against 1. FC Köln, which will take place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus, chief executive Stephan Schippers discussed…
…the fact that no fans are allowed to attend the derby against Köln: The day has arrived that all of us had hoped wouldn't come. The decision for #BMGKOE to go ahead without fans is one that hits the supporters, and the club, hard. Naturally, there are financial implications for us. We will have to wait and see if further games will be played behind closed doors as well. The decision for these games will be made all over Germany, not just here in Mönchengladbach. All the clubs will meet in Frankfurt at the DFL on Monday and debate the situation. The whole of Europe is being affected by this right now.
…his personal view on the situation: It’s a difficult time. I’m not the type of person to become all hysteric about something, but on the other hand, I think it’s right that the recommendations of those who are experts have been followed. The absolute priority is people's health. We have complied with the decision and will have to live and work with the consequences. That will be a challenge for us.
…the game possibly being moved: The game could potentially have been rearranged. The DFL’s main aim, however, is to ensure that games run as smoothly as possible. We don’t know if future games might be affected due to travel bans or similar things, so it was the right decision to play this game now. We were in constant talks with the state Minister of Health as well as the city and the DFL.
...tickets for the game: Our fans, who had bought tickets for the game, will have the right to be reimbursed. We only knew that the game would take place without fans today. The settlement process will be discussed, but for now we need to see if more games will also follow. In that sense, we will find the right solution.
...stopping ticket sales: I’m not sure what the minister exactly decided upon in the end. We don’t yet know how long the ban for events over 1,000 people will be in place for. As far as I know, they have set a date for the ban in Munich. We’ll have to see how the situation develops, and if it improves or not. The coronavirus is new for us all. We will have to follow it closely in order to take the right steps – in the context of the Bundesliga.
…the financial implications: From a commercial perspective, you can't plan for something like this. We will lose €2m per game. We can’t calculate the losses we will make for two, or three games. The money isn’t there. We have insurance against games that are called off, but not if they are played behind closed doors. That will hurt all clubs, including Borussia, financially.
…who will be allowed to attend the game: No fans will be allowed to be there tomorrow. The only people allowed to be in the ground will be the necessary club staff and members of the media.
…fans, who will try to get close to BORUSSIA-PARK: We will have stewards there for this. We would like to say to all fans: This is a rare situation. We need things to remain calm. Tomorrow’s game will take place, and sport is the main focus. We are still discussing things with stewards.