The enforced absence of fans from matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause headaches for many stadia management companies across Germany. With grounds sat empty and idle for much of 2020, companies are seeing unsustainable gaps developing between profit and loss - with the latest to feel the financial pressure being Bremer Weser-Stadion GmbH who operate Werder Bremen's iconic Weserstadion.
The company had warned that without additional funding they would soon be on the brink of bankruptcy with all the uncertainty surrounding the future of the historic stadium that would bring. Bremer Weser-Stadion GmbH are joint-owned by the city of Bremen and SV Werder, and so both parent companies have secured the funding needed to sustain the business, with the city's €3.5 million pledge being matched by the Bundesliga club. Wary of concern amongst its fanbase, Werder Bremen have also assured fans that the future of the stadium has been secured ... for the time being at least. The question now, as Germany faces a second national lockdown and the impact it is likely to have on all areas of the economy - not just professional sport - is when will the revenue streams start up again? Sadly, it's entirely possible that German football will see no significant matchday income for months and that further bailouts will be needed.