Bundesliga revenue predicted to plummet

BERLIN - A majority of Bundesliga club managers believe revenues will drop in 2009 for the first time in five years as the credit crisis cuts into German football, according to a poll published on Tuesday. Some 56 percent of the top two division club bosses said clubs should expect a drop in sponsorship and broadcasting revenues for the season starting on Friday, the poll conducted by Ernst & Young said. Only 12 percent said they were optimistic of an increase in revenues. Club managers of 34 of the 36 teams in the German first and second divisions took part in the poll. The managers polled believe the credit crunch will hurt top European leagues far more, with 73 percent convinced the English Premier League will be hardest hit. "If the effects of the crisis on the Bundesliga seem to be more controlled it has also to do with the fact that the German clubs have comparably more solid finances and less debt than the English teams, for example," said Ernst & Young's Christoph Ehrhardt, head of the unit that conducted the poll.