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RabidAl

Pricing Fans In, Sustainably?

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Said it before and i'll say it again....3x14 gives slightly larger divisions, the same number of, or one more home match (which would fall to each of the top 7 clubs after 26 games), the opportunity to promote/relegate multiple clubs without losing ridiculous percentages of teams each year (i'd opt for the current scenario between the top two tiers, but with the second bottom club joining 2nd, 3rd & 4th at the semi final stage and no ridiculously prejudiced bye) with two automatically up/down between leagues 1 & 2, and like so with 3rd bottom joining the 3rd, 4th & 5th placed League2 clubs. For League1, in particular, it would be very difficult to find multiple clubs playing for very little but pride entering the final weeks, and in any case with seven spots concerning promotion & relegation issues, the proverbial 'three game streak' of wins/losses could open up the league further...with slightly more teams in it!

Edited by ShawfieldAggro

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I'd be interested to see non-Old Firm, Premiership clubs working together to run this pilot scheme next season - to try to get more fans to games:

Revenue Sharing Agreement

1. All member clubs agree to set season ticket prices to: £150 (adult) / £75 (concession) / £0* bairns.

2. All member clubs will retain all of their own season ticket revenues.

3. All member clubs agree to set matchday gate prices at: £10 (adult) / £5 (concession) / £0 bairns.

4. All member clubs agree to pay all matchday gate revenues, minus costs, into a Common Fund.

5. All member clubs will be paid an equal share of the Common Fund on the 28th day of each month.

{*Always, always let bairns in for nothing; give them a season ticket to capture their imagination and make them feel involved; they'll pay their money as adults if you've got them interested as kids}

Potential benefits:

- season ticket sales increase as fans are keen for their money to stay with their own club;

- matchday gate receipts increase because away fans can see that a proportion of the money they pay at away matches goes back to their own club;

- attendances increase because the lower prices attract more fans, and the distribution of revenue attracts both more home and more away fans;

- clubs are able to operate in a more financially sustainable manner, as the Common Fund payments smooth out the vagaries of the fixtures list (i.e. - the payments allow clubs a similar income regardless of whether they are playing clubs with poor away supports one month, or fewer home games, etc).

Potential drawbacks:

- there is an incentive for clubs to lie about the number of season ticket sales or matchday attendances, since the difference between the two would result in more/less money needing to be paid into the Common Fund; they'd have to be totally open with each other, or have someone independent to monitor the figures;

- revenues may drop initially, before enough fans come back to games to offset the lower ticket prices; this may mean clubs having to spend money on a few good players complemented by youngsters, rather than the current squads full of average quality players;

- clubs go at the project with their usual half-arsed attitude, reducing prices by a tiny fraction and whinging when fans don't immediately flock back to games; they'd have to be bold with their price cuts, more proactive in the community to raise awareness of the prices/upcoming games, and be patient in waiting for fans to come back to the game.

Sermon over.

Could it work??

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Did a wee bit of digging around to see what the SPFL's stance is on what clubs should be charging fans to get into games (bearing in mind that the SPFL is, effectively, the clubs themselves).

Although they don't say explicitly what should be charged for league matches, their pricing strategy is clear enough from the recommended minimum prices for the SPFL's cup competitions:

Admission Prices, Admission to Grounds and Ticket Distribution {p.77}

I26 The Home Club, in its absolute discretion, shall determine admission charges for League Matches and Play-Off Matches.

THE SCOTTISH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP COMPETITION
BOARD MINIMUM RECOMMENDED PRICES OF GROUND ADMISSION
{p.138}

The Premiership £18.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £12.00

The Championship £12.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £6.00

League One £10.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £5.00

League Two £9.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £4.50

THE SCOTTISH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP COMPETITION BOARD MINIMUM RECOMMENDED PRICES OF GROUND ADMISSION {p.170}

The Championship £12.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £6.00

League One £10.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £5.00

League Two £9.00 Juveniles and Senior Citizens £4.50

{'The Rules of the Scottish Professional Football League'}: http://spfl.co.uk/spfl

So they're tacitly saying it's £18 minimum for adults to get into Premiership matches, £12 for concessions;

Championship - £12 & £6;

League One - £10 & £5;

League Two - £9 & £4.50.

All over-priced I reckon.

If they were asking for Premiership £12 & £5, Championship £8 & £3, Leagues One and Two £5 & £2 then they'd get a lot more repeat custom!

Edited by RabidAl

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No they wouldn't. The football's still crap, the overall experience remains very much 'geez yir money and do as yir telt', and, for the millionth time, crowds on the whole are about similar to any point in the last 40 years. The spread is different, and the lower leagues have had their boots filled, but the cost has had very little to do with this.

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The top tier crowds dropped by about 13% in the SPL era so, in that respect, they're not that similar to the attendances of the late '90s. Not sure what your interpretation of 'the spread' is? Or what you mean by 'the lower leagues have had their boots filled'?

The die-hards will always go along unless the prices are astronomical because their demand for seeing their team is inelastic - they will go pretty much regardless, and there's no real alternative/opportunity cost for them on a Saturday afternoon. It seems clubs will squeeze these fans for every penny.

But there are plenty of fans who would go along to matches if the prices were lower, whose demand for seeing their team is elastic because, at the high prices clubs charge, there are other things they can do (opportunity costs) for less money. Clubs are actively discouraging these fans from going to games by having such high prices.

In absolute terms, if the cost is just £5 (for example) people who really want to go along to a match will go. There aren't many opportunity costs that are as entertaining (if crap), if going to football's your thing, for a fiver.

In relative terms, if the cost is £18+, that's more than enough to put most people who aren't die-hards off going to most games.

Consistently low prices would get more fans along to games and would help to build fan-bases.

---------

35. Minimum Charge for Admission {Scottish F.A. Handbook 2014/15; p.185}

Subject to a minimum adult non concessionary charge for admission to matches in the Preliminary
Round (if applicable), Round One, Round Two and Round Three, of £5, and of £8 for matches in
subsequent Rounds excluding the Semi-Final and Final Ties, the charges for admission shall be
arranged by the competing clubs. If they are unable to agree, the charges which are normally
made for the regular fixtures of the club at whose ground the match is to be played, will apply.

Interesting to note the Scottish FA's pricing policy for the Scottish Cup - much lower and, in my view, more realistic than the prices recommended by the SPFL.

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If they were asking for Premiership £12 & £5, Championship £8 & £3, Leagues One and Two £5 & £2 then they'd get a lot more repeat custom!

No they wouldn't.

If Berwick charged £5 not £12 our crowds would only rise very slightly, IMO.

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I think the financials of football are such that price reductions on any significant level aren't realistic.

What they could do, though, would be to make actually attending a match a lot more appealing than it is now. Simple things like not treating fans like criminals, pies that are actually pleasant to eat, toilets that have been cleaned at least twice since decimalisation, safe standing, etc etc etc.

Matches don't have to be cheaper for value for money to increase.

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I regularly attend Anderlecht games. Standard is better than SPL in Belgium but not by miles. It is generally, for a league game, 30 euros for a seat and 15 to stand. So I can stand, sing, drink beer and watch a good game for less than it costs to freeze at a league one game drinking watered down tea.

I agree - give aggressive pricing a go and engage and mobilise the community. Yes, wages are an issue, but sustainability of so many professional clubs can only be ensured in this way.

www.eurofootballstadium.com

Edited by eurofootballstadium.com

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No they wouldn't. The football's still crap, the overall experience remains very much 'geez yir money and do as yir telt', and, for the millionth time, crowds on the whole are about similar to any point in the last 40 years. The spread is different, and the lower leagues have had their boots filled, but the cost has had very little to do with this.

'The first division total over the same period was 5.6 million, with a reduction of nearly 10% from 571,830 in 1998 to 520,920 in 2009-10.

The second division total was 2.3 million, a reduction of nearly 53% from 250,453 in 1998-99 to 115,697 in 2009-10.

The third division total was 1.18 million, a reduction of 8% from 98,212 in 1998-99 to 90,485 in 2009-10.'

{Review of Scottish Football; Part 2, p. 47}

'From the start of the 12 team league, attendance figures show a decline from 3,644,742 in 2000-1 to 3,180,375 in 2009-10, a drop of 464,367 or 13%.'

{p.55}

Edited by RabidAl

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Thought you might be interested in a bit of info about the above. Take it or leave it!

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Even when rangers reduced the playoffs to a fiver the ground wasn't full, and don't get me started on the away fans debacle!

Okay let's all pretend rangers fans hadn't spat the dummy, if rangers weren't in the position of playoffs and instead had charged a cover whilst in hearts position they would have sold out ten times over

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