Mr. Kraetschmer, a lot has happened during the past week, right?
You could say that. First there was the new regulation that made team training and ghost games possible. Then the confirmed schedule and the equally important news that all players and supporters of the A-team and the Young Violets were tested negative for the Coronavirus. The license that we have received for the coming season is also very important.
Speaking of which, was it even more difficult with the Coronavirus than usual?
There are two stages to this: We submitted the documents before the lockdown, but even then, we were very confident that we would get the license straight away. However, Covid-19 suddenly raised a lot of questions, and the Bundesliga reacted very quickly because it is currently not possible to assess the financial performance due to the exceptional circumstances. This was implemented in line with UEFA's approach.
Is it responsible to play football in times of the corona crisis?
We have worked out a very good concept together with the ministries and we are testing weekly. We are convinced that we can share our experiences and the knowledge gained during these weeks with other sports and adapt them for them. Our players are very careful with their responsibilities and have been very exemplary so far. They wear masks when they come and use the disinfectant sprays on the stadium grounds. I also claim that they try to minimize the risk of infection privately.
Let us come back to the excitement surrounding LASK. Is the furore of their premature team training justified?
Yes, because that was an absolute punch in the face and a huge disappointment in my view. For weeks we worked very hard in the league for solidarity and a concept. LASK's approach was to break the rules systematically. I also expect the Senate to deal with the matter properly and to issue a punishment as a clear signal.
Can anything stop the restart of the championship?
There are still a few meetings with the clubs where details need to be planned and discussed. For example, the goal celebration as seen at Hertha BSC in Germany or the access system with different colour categories. The more serious and better we deal with everything, the faster we will return to normal operation. Ghost games are now a necessary interim solution but may not become normal in the coming months.
It was only on Friday that we heard that there will soon be spectators in other areas again. When do we follow?
It is very, very important that we bring fans back to our stadiums and I think that, like for cultural events, we have the chance to play with an audience again in July. At least when the new season kicks off. We are now able to plan ahead and will continue to give everything.
The Bundesliga started in Germany again - what were your impressions?
The joy outweighs, because we have seen that it can work quite well, maybe one or the other needs to do even more. But we will incorporate these findings here and want to be as professionally as possible. The faster we get this done, the faster the authorities will allow further steps. It's like in gastronomy and culture. We will be watched, but people's hunger for football and normality is huge.
In conclusion: All other Austria Wien teams also start training this week, and the Young Violets even start the championship again. How do you judge that?
Of course, that is great. We weren’t sure about the Young Violets, so we're all the more delighted now. Due to the short intervals, more players will probably be deployed to the A-team. At the same time, this means that the Young Violets will now have even more opportunities for young players to show off. We are also pleased that the girls, women, the Special Violets, the youngsters, the academy, the football camps and the football school resume training. We are all happy because the last trainings were actually months ago.