DFL grants TSG unconditional licence

The German Football League (Deutsche Fußball Liga, or DFL for short) this Monday made its first decisions in the licensing procedure for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 for the upcoming 2020/21 season, taking into account the coronavirus pandemic-related exemptions decided upon by the DFL Ordinary Assembly on 31 March 2020. As part of this process, the DFL granted TSG Hoffenheim an unconditional licence for the coming season. In the first phase, none of the 49 applicants were denied a licence. But some applicants have to fulfil conditions by mid-June in order to be granted a licence in the event of a sporting qualification, or were granted a licence subject to conditions.

The fulfilment of conditions means that a club is only granted eligibility to play at a certain point in time after certain requirements have been proven. In the case of conditions, on the other hand, it is stipulated which requirements must be met during the coming 2020/21 season after eligibility to play has been granted. The clubs can lodge a complaint against the initial decision made within a week.

The existing exemptions in view of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic concern the regulations on economic performance: the DFL's Ordinary Assembly on 31 March decided that the financial criteria in the form of a liquidity calculation will not be examined this year. The aim of this decision is to give all of the clubs the time and opportunity to deal with the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and resume regular match operations so that the competitions can be completed on the pitch.

Thus, every club that submitted all documents to review its economic performance on time met this criterion. However, sporting, legal, personnel-administrative, infrastructural and media-technical criteria will be reviewed this year to ensure fair competition and integrity. These include factors such as the sustainable promotion of young talent within the clubs, the condition of the stadiums and professional working conditions for the media. The next review of the financial criteria, however, will take place during the upcoming 2020/21 season. All clubs that play in the Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 next season must submit the necessary documents to the DFL by 15 September 2020 at the latest.

Initially, the second decision of the DFL  which according to its statutes is the first instance in the licensing procedure  in regard to the 49 applicants for a Bundesliga and/or Bundesliga 2 licence is planned for mid-May. The clubs concerned will then have five days to lodge another appeal. The first meeting of the Licensing Committee, chaired by Jan-Christian Dreesen, will then take place, at which time the Licensing Committee will make its final decision on second appeals. The Licensing Committee's final decision on whether any conditions have been met and whether licences are to be awarded is scheduled for the second half of June at the latest.

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