Coronavirus: Borussia Dortmund lead Champions League clubs in £18m pledge to German sides

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Borussia Dortmund have been joined by Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen in pledging a donation of €20m (£18m) to give financial support to other Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs.

Like most of the rest of Europe, Germany is in lockdown as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and the football season has been suspended for the foreseeable future.

Many smaller teams are expected to struggle to survive as a result, with no matchday revenue coming in and overheads and staff to pay.

The distribution criteria will be decided by the German Football League (DFL), but Dortmund's chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke says he hopes it will help guide other teams through the difficult period.

Hans-Joachim Watzke wants to help smaller clubs in Germany
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

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"We have always said that we would show solidarity if clubs, through no fault of their own, should run into difficulties that they can no longer overcome themselves," Watzke said.

"BVB (Dortmund) is currently having a major impact on society through a wide range of initiatives. And naturally we are prepared to help out other professional clubs if it is ultimately a matter of cushioning the financial effects of the pandemic."

The four clubs, who have all taken part in the Champions League this season, will forego their share of the national media revenue from the DFL next season in order to make the donation.

Bayern Munich will also donate to the cause
(Image: X06742)

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DFL Executive Committee spokesman Christian Seifert added: "This initiative shows that solidarity is more than just lip service in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. The DFL Executive Committee is very thankful to the four Champions League participants for their gesture towards our community of clubs."

Throughout the crisis a number of high-profile clubs and figures involved in football have been making gestures to try to help out.

There still does not appear to be a date in sight for when football will be able to resume, and it could yet be a number of months before a ball is kicked.

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