10.05.2020 13:22 h

Swiss Super League prepares for training return despite restart row

Swiss top-flight sides are preparing to return to training from Monday, despite the possible resumption of matches on June 20 being clouded by total uncertainty and debate.

The Super League has been suspended since February 23, with 13 rounds remaining, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But clubs cannot agree on whether to restart the season, with some, including two-time league champions FC Sion, believing they have far more to lose than to gain.

When the league was halted, Saint Gallen and Young Boys were level on points at the top of the table, five points clear of third-placed Basel.

Sion were languishing eighth in the 10-team division, only four points above the relegation play-off spot and are refusing to restart training, having cancelled several players' contracts, including those of former Arsenal pair Alex Song and Johan Djourou.

"Ninety-three percent of our resources come from ticket office sales, members and sponsors, and only seven percent from television rights," Sion president Christian Constantin said.

"Resuming the season behind closed doors would make us lose a lot of money.

"Bringing back our players would deprive us furloughing measures, which has allowed us to reduce our expenses by about 65 percent during this period without revenue."

But the clubs could decide at a Swiss football league (SFL) on May 29 to resume the campaign as early as June 20.

Young Boys, chasing a third successive league title, are unsurprisingly one of the clubs keen to complete the season, with Champions League qualification also up for grabs.

"(We) want to continue the season, to determine a champion, the clubs qualified in European cups, and relegation," said Wanja Greuel, the capital side's general manager.

He added that not finishing the season would be "disastrous for the entire football family".

Other leagues across Europe are starting to edge closer to resuming, with the German Bundesliga set to return next weekend.

However, the top-flight seasons in France and the Netherlands have been ended early, with Paris Saint-Germain named Ligue 1 champions and the Dutch Eredivisie campaign declared null and void.