Volkswagen Group's emissions cheating scandal could cause collateral damage to an unexpected victim: Germany's beloved Bundesliga.
Powerful and popular first division soccer teams Hannover 96, Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 may lose millions of euros in sponsorship money from VW, Germany's Bild am Sonntag reported.
The German weekly said VW spends about 1.5 million euros (about $1.6 million) per season on each of the soccer clubs. That's not NFL quarterback money, but it is a significant sum to, say, Hannover 96. Its entire team payroll this year is 19 million euros, according to the website fussball-geld.de.
Those three are not the only teams that could have a big financial hole to fill. Last month, VfL Wolfsburg, whose players wear the VW logo in the middle of their jerseys, said it had postponed plans for a new multimillion-euro youth training center.
VW will continue to sponsor soccer, but, "it has not yet been decided what the volume of that will be," the company wrote in an emailed statement to Reuters.