As German clubs prepare for the return of the Bundesliga this weekend, journalist Uli Hesse explained on Thursday's OTB AM why he is unconvinced that the resumption of play will actually work.
A little over two months after Borussia Mönchengladbach defeated Cologne in the first Bundesliga fixture to ever be played behind closed doors, German football is set for a return to competitive action this weekend.
With this huge contingent of games likely to command the interest of football fans across the world, German journalist Uli Hesse is uncertain whether the plan for this return is likely to work, however.
"Yes, it will be football, but will it really? We just don't know," he reasoned on Thursday's OTB AM of games that will take place exclusively behind closed doors. "Maybe it will be like watching an accident? How will these players perform on the pitch? Will they be match-fit?"
Beyond how the football looks or what the game means without fans in stadiums, however, Hesse isn't convinced that it is within the control of the league's organisers to get the season finished.
As many industries and businesses across Germany make their slow return, the argument that football is being too hasty with its planned resumption of play has receded somewhat.
Nevertheless, as football in Germany desperately attempts to ensure no further loss of television revenue, the initial optimism of those who have spearheaded its return has waned.
"Basically, a couple of weeks ago it was about principles, about general considerations," explained Hesse. "Now, people have begun to understand that there are hundreds if not thousands of very practical questions that the league will maybe not be able to handle.
"They've got to play an awful lot of games in a short period of time, according to their own schedule. I think that there are quite a few people now who think that they're probably not going to finish the season.
"You get the feeling from the statements being issued by the league that they were very optimistic a couple of weeks ago but are now retreating step by step.
"Realistically, the plan is probably not going to work the way the league wants it to work."
Although it is the most financially lucrative league, Uli Hesse outlined the manner in which German football's problems did not begin and end with the Bundesliga.
"Another huge problem is everything below the top two divisions," he admitted. "The third tier, which is a professional league as well in Germany, it is more or less total chaos there.
"Some clubs in the third division have already said that they don't want to finish the season because if they followed the Bundesliga's plan, they would go bankrupt."
A result of the extensive testing and precautionary measures being taken by Bundesliga club ahead of this weekend's return to action, Dynamo Dresden, a club in German football's second tier, have already had their planned return scuppered after players at the club tested positive for coronavirus.
Nevertheless, football will return in Germany's Bundesliga from 2.30 pm on Saturday afternoon.
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