Debt fears and cash crunch force FC Kaiserslautern to file for bankruptcy

June 16 – Fabled German club FC Kaiserslautern has filed for bankruptcy after a mounting debt and cash-flow crisis. The club have been crowned German champions four times.

Kaiserslautern had been battling deep debts before the coronavirus pandemic struck, further deepening Kaiserslautern’s financial difficulties and hitting cashflow. Club CEO Soeren Oliver Voigt said that the pandemic has slashed revenues and prevented discussion with potential investors.

“During the lockdown phase we quickly noticed that the 82 days in which no football was played here clearly aggravated the financial situation,” said Voigt.

“We still can’t allow our fans into the stadium, and they are enormously valuable for us,” added Voigt, who emphasized that the bankruptcy filing was the right way forward to protect the club’s future interests.

Kaiserslautern are burdened by about €24 million of debt, but the club said it will continue their search for new investors after scaling down operations at the club. Kaiserslautern players have already accepted huge wage cuts.

The club was founded in 1901 and its players, including Fritz Walter, formed the backbone of Germany’s World-Cup-winning team in 1954. In the Bundesliga era, Kaiserslautern stormed to the domestic crown in 1998 after having just gained promotion from the second division. They reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 1999.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1593922152labto1593922152ofdlr1593922152owedi1593922152sni@o1593922152fni1593922152