Schalke ask season ticket holders to pitch in with rebate refusal

DFB Cup - Schalke 04 v Bayern Munich

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bundesliga club Schalke 04 have asked season ticket holders to waive their right to a rebate and help the cash-strapped club through the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Schalke said on Wednesday they were in a potentially "existence-threatening" financial situation, with the league having stopped since mid-March and not expected to resume before May, and have asked more fans to pitch in.

"There are many offers (from fans) to refuse a rebate for their season tickets or day tickets already purchased and we consider these financial gestures as something special," Schalke said in a statement.

"In their sum, each of these refusals is an immense contribution to stabilising the club's liquidity and securing its survival. The club is facing a potentially existence-threatening financial situation."

Schalke will give away specially made team shirts to each season ticket holder who does not ask for their money back, the club said.

The German Football League is desperate to get the season restarted and teams have already started some team training in small groups.

But Germany is still in lockdown with the virus having infected more than 100,000 people and more than 2,000 have died.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)