In a SKY Sport Austria video podcast a few days ago, Kraetschmer spoke very openly about the effects of the corona crisis and the economic situation of the club. ‘The uncertainty is great everywhere. A situation like this is threatening our existence, since we do not exactly now what is going to happen,’ explains the economic expert, and he adds, ‘Nobody knows in what form and when it will continue.’
Of course, this makes planning more difficult, although the focus is still on everyone's health. Kraetschmer says, ‘At the same time, we also have a duty to secure liquidity and have long been taking the appropriate measures with short-time work that the state and the institutions have given us.’
But a lot will also depend on how the athletic competition continues. A number of fans are already signalling that they are committed to Austria Wien, many are writing to us that they want to support the club and are foregoing any subscription rights after the crisis. ‘A great signal in a time that demands a lot of sacrifice from everyone!’
After the Easter holidays, the Bundesliga club conference will meet in another video conference and will present new plans. Of course, the authorities always have the last word in all scenarios, so we can only wait.
But Kraetschmer makes no secret of the fact that the situation is not an easy one. ‘It is no secret that we are already very far with an international, strategic partner. Now it is no longer possible to travel, but the conversations continue via video conferences. Of course, as are other things, this is also on hold at the moment. Talking in person with someone is definitely easier than it is now with the conference calls.’
Nevertheless, he urges patience and does not want to whine. ‘We have to live with these conditions and we won't know in which direction it will go until mid-April at the earliest. Then a time window should be used to decide how the league will continue, what that means for the European Cup and when the next season can start again. The focus is clearly to finish playing the league. I am not a fan of games without fans because they were intended as a means of punishment. But if there is a way to keep clubs alive, we should plan that as well.’
There are still many unanswered questions, and the next steps will certainly not be possible until after Easter.