Canada New players and the coronavirus: Hertha BSC's debts at a new high

16:15  25 october  2020
16:15  25 october  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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Hertha BSC has invested heavily in the team, and the coronavirus pandemic has also led to a drop in income. This is reflected in the balance sheet.

Ungemütliche Zeiten. Wegen Corona ist die finanzielle Situation für Herthas Geschäftsführer Ingo Schiller (l.) nicht einfach. Die Millionen von Invester Lars Windhorst sind da sehr hilfreich. © Photo: imago images / Matthias Koch Uncomfortable times. Because of Corona, the financial situation is not easy for Hertha's managing director Ingo Schiller (left). The millions of Invester Lars Windhorst are very helpful.

Ingo Schiller last saw photos of full football stadiums. So photos that are only nine months old, but which Schiller almost seemed antiquarian. Nobody knows at the moment when it could look like this again. Nobody knows whether it will ever look like this again, even if restrictions on public life are no longer necessary due to the corona virus. "I still can't really imagine that today," says Schiller, the CFO of the Bundesliga club Hertha BSC.

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What was normal just a few months ago seems surreal to us today. In return, we got used to things that we could not have imagined a year ago. That Hertha BSC is swimming in the money, for example - and Ingo Schiller nevertheless had to announce a record loss and a new all-time high in debt at the general meeting on Sunday in the east curve of the Olympic Stadium.

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Hertha BSC KGaA made a loss of 59 million euros in the 2019/20 financial year. As a result, liabilities have risen to almost 142 million euros - after 87.4 million euros a year ago , which was mainly due to the repurchase of the shares of the financial investor KKR. This time, Schiller speaks of the impacts that the corona virus had on Hertha's balance sheet.

Preetz believes in the quality of the Hertha squad despite the upheaval

 Preetz believes in the quality of the Hertha squad despite the upheaval Managing Director Michael Preetz believes in the quality of the team of the Bundesliga soccer team Hertha BSC Berlin despite the upheaval in the summer. "We have experienced ups and downs this season, certainly more poor performances than positive performances," he said before the game against RB Leipzig on Saturday. But there have also been games in which the team has shown "what a fundamental quality it is". © Jan Woitas / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa / archive image Berlin's manager Michael Preetz.

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The fact that the result is so drastic is related to two factors: on the one hand, the loss of income due to the pandemic; and secondly with the club's investments in the team. That's why Hertha had already calculated a loss for the financial year, because of Corona it was significantly higher again. “Both effects accumulate with us,” said Schiller in a media talk about the presentation of the balance sheet.

Hertha is to receive 100 million euros shortly.

Hertha's managing director put the revenue shortfall compared to the original plans at almost 36 million euros, and by the end of the current season, for which Hertha is now planning without spectators, there would be another double-digit million amount added. According to Schiller's assessment, the club is at the top of the league comparison.

The team has also become significantly more expensive due to the transfers last summer (Dodi Lukebakio) and especially in winter (Matheus Cunha, Santiago Ascacibar and Krzysztof Piatek). The licensed player budget has now risen to 70 million euros. Nevertheless, Schiller believes "that we are one of the clubs with the highest cash position and a very good equity base that will also improve again". The equity of the partnership limited by shares rose from 123 to 146 million euros.

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Hertha BSC wants to build up reserves

Hertha will soon receive another 100 million euros from Lars Windhorst , whose Tennor Group will then have invested a total of 374 million euros in the club and acquired two thirds of the share in the KGaA. The payout of the last tranche, which was announced for October, "is imminent," said Schiller. According to Hertha's Chief Financial Officer, there have been no talks about further investments by Windhorst. The 374 million euros are already the largest single investment that has ever been made in the Bundesliga, explained Schiller, "insofar as this is not necessary either".

Thanks to Tennor's entry, Schiller sees Hertha as being much better equipped for the difficult situation than many competitors in the Bundesliga. “We are really well positioned thanks to the capital measures,” he said. Despite all the imponderables, Hertha's managing director expressed his confidence for the current financial year. "We will have clearly positive liquidity, further strengthened equity and a significant reduction in liabilities in the double-digit million range," he predicted.

Even if, according to Schiller, thanks to careful planning, Hertha can “theoretically no longer experience any negative surprises”, further developments due to the pandemic cannot be reliably predicted. "We are therefore well advised to build up certain reserves at the moment." There will certainly not be transfers of the same size as last winter for the time being, Schiller explained, "but you probably did not expect that either".

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