Union Berlin defender Neven Subotic is unimpressed with the Bundesliga’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying it is “impossible” that the decision to resume the league this month will be good for everybody.
The German top flight will be the first major European league to start again after football around the world was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, with the next round of fixtures set to take place on May 16.
Subotic however is concerned that the return of German football has been rushed, although he understands there is not a perfect solution given the unique circumstances.
The 31-year-old centre back told the BBC :
“That’s a precarious situation for all of us. It’s going to be impossible to come out of the league with positive remarks. It’s just going to be a lot of risk management and trying to get to a finished season with the fewest casualties.
“You can hear from my response that I am critical of how everything has been managed, but I understand it is a difficult situation for everybody. We all want to press forward and be in a situation where we don’t have to worry about it, but I think that is unrealistic in the coming months.”
Subotic, who was part of the Borussia Dortmund side that won back-to-back Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp in 2011 and 2012, said he has been left frustrated by the shifting dates and constantly changing information about a possible league resumption.
“The leagues that were very decisive did the best under those circumstances, you don’t want to hear ‘Ah, in two weeks there will be a decision’, which is what you were hearing in Germany. We were also one of the last to close down the league. Since then, the approach has been to come back as soon as possible, and the financial aspects have always been highlighted.
“We’ve postponed the league so many times, we’re always trying to start it – you’ve heard for the last six weeks that ‘it’s going to start soon, it’s going to start soon’. Now it actually is, but things have been frustrating because what we want is clarity.”
On when would be a good time to start the league again, Subotic – who returned to the Bundesliga last summer with Union following a season in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne – admits that no date would get universal approval, as the risk of coronavirus looks likely to remain for a very long time.
“No matter when we start, it will be too soon. Even if we start in a few weeks, it’s too soon. If we had started already, it would be too soon. Even if we start in a few months, it may be too soon.”