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08.11.2017 , 21:00 Uhr - Nachrichten - cie

Bundesliga impends loss of Champions League berths

Frank Bohmann, CEO German Bundesliga
Frank Bohmann, CEO German Bundesliga
Escalation instead of easing of tension: having a look at the power struggle with the European Handball Federation EHF the German Bundesliga impends the painful loss of two berths at the Champion League. Due to the scheduling difficulties that are smouldering for months, the EHF intends only to license one German club for the Champions League starting off at the season 2018/2019. A document to this effect is available for the German Handball Bundesliga HBL as well as for the international operating Bundesliga clubs, and it partly causes dismay. HBL manager Frank Bohmann took part in a meeting of the European leagues in Barcelona and discussed the volatile issue with the German clubs. "Afterwards we will give a mutual statement," Frank Bohmann said to the German Press Agency dpa.

Two set berths and one wildcard: the German Handball Bundesliga is taking part in the Champions League with three teams since years. Now the European Federation is on a collision course with the league and wants to hand in a request to the executive for limiting the participating German clubs to only one. "If this would turn out this way it would be very sad for the sports of handball with all its professionals who are performing in the Champions League as well as for the huge amount of handball fans," THW Kiel manager Thorsten Storm said; a club who won the Champions League thrice.

One day before the EHF in cooperation with the delegates of the European top teams has started its frontal attack against the German Bundesliga. "It is once again to be pointed out that, due to the quality of the German top teams, the situation is to be regretted. But the scheduling management of the HBL is obviously coined by a strategy who does not allow any other option," as the dpa and the daily paper Mannheimer Morgen are quoting today from a letter that German and English section of handball-world had already reported about yesterday night.

The request of reducing the current three German berths to only one is set to be presented to the EHF executive at the next meeting. The step is inevitable as was to be read in the letter that is also available for handball-world. Bob Hanning, the manager of the current German table topper Füchse Berlin, was in a calm state when hearing the shocking news. "If we want to find a joint solution we have to talk to each other. It is no use in discussing this issue in public. It is always of advantage to solve such things internally," Bob Hanning said.

For months there is a smouldering dispute about the scheduling difficulties between HBL and EHF. Most recently the EHF has caused confusion and stir by announcing a restructuring of the Champions League in 2020 and a higher burden of at least six additional matches that comes with it. "We believe that this was the straw that broke the camel"s back. We simply did not manage to arrange all the appointments. We stand up for reducing the matches and not for increasing them," Frank Bohmann said according to the dpa.

The aggravation of the scheduling difficulties was with the involvement of the HBL, too as there was a new broadcasting contract with the pay-TV station Sky. "The decision of the HBL to establish firm appointments on Thursdays and Sundays can be seen as to oppose the Champions League. This step cannot be rated as coincidence and led exactly to the situation that is present," the EHF criticizes the present state in its letter. "The HBL-management has seen the Champions League as a pure competitor at each state instead of appreciating it and to make use of it," the dpa quoted.

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