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Coronavirus and the Scottish Championship

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Just now, johnnydun said:

If it's Arbroath and @weetoonlad I would take it with a bucket of salt.

<_<

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2 hours ago, johnnydun said:

If it's Arbroath and @weetoonlad I would take it with a bucket of salt.

Its not. I know who he is talking about and who his source is and it will be 100% accurate.

We clearly wouldnt be at that level and wifi was set to be improved anyway I think but the idea that Championship football could be funded with some sort of online closed doors subscription femains absolute pie in the sky stuff. Its a means to mitigate losses at best. 

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5 hours ago, Skyline Drifter said:

Its not. I know who he is talking about and who his source is and it will be 100% accurate.

We clearly wouldnt be at that level and wifi was set to be improved anyway I think but the idea that Championship football could be funded with some sort of online closed doors subscription femains absolute pie in the sky stuff. Its a means to mitigate losses at best. 

I know it wouldn't be him, I was joking.

I can't see why you think this would be pie in the sky? At championship level at least. Your average gate is 1,400, IMO you would get more than double that watching in away fans from Dundee and Hearts globally even at £20 a pop.

Fans will not have seen any football for around 6 months, this would be the only way to watch thier team and they know the importance of buying the subscription.

It needs to, at the very least, be trialled.

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1 hour ago, johnnydun said:

I know it wouldn't be him, I was joking.

I can't see why you think this would be pie in the sky? At championship level at least. Your average gate is 1,400, IMO you would get more than double that watching in away fans from Dundee and Hearts globally even at £20 a pop.

Fans will not have seen any football for around 6 months, this would be the only way to watch thier team and they know the importance of buying the subscription.

It needs to, at the very least, be trialled.

It really doesnt. Even if we assume we can keep sales to away fans in full, something Dundee and Hearts may well not be happy about, we cant run a squad for a year on sales for 4 games.

And it cant be 'trialled'. You either insist on clubs committing to it or you dont. You cant 'try' a football season. We either employ players or we dont. You cant employ them for a couple of weeks, and thats ignoring the fact they would need 6 weeks minimum pre season first.

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I know it wouldn't be him, I was joking.
I can't see why you think this would be pie in the sky? At championship level at least. Your average gate is 1,400, IMO you would get more than double that watching in away fans from Dundee and Hearts globally even at £20 a pop.
Fans will not have seen any football for around 6 months, this would be the only way to watch thier team and they know the importance of buying the subscription.
It needs to, at the very least, be trialled.
I think youre vastly overestimating demand and the price people would pay, particularly considering some clibs would be single camera with no replays or commentary.

As SD said, at best it's a revenue stream that woukd reduce losses if games went ahead behind closed doors and you can't trial it without playing games.

There's some talk on the Alloa thread about pooling resources. Maybe that's a more sensible idea, a centralised service with someone kind of revenue sharing. Still unlikely to generate enough money for the smaller clubs to not run at a loss though.

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9 minutes ago, Mr X said:

I think youre vastly overestimating demand and the price people would pay, particularly considering some clibs would be single camera with no replays or commentary.

As SD said, at best it's a revenue stream that woukd reduce losses if games went ahead behind closed doors and you can't trial it without playing games.

There's some talk on the Alloa thread about pooling resources. Maybe that's a more sensible idea, a centralised service with someone kind of revenue sharing. Still unlikely to generate enough money for the smaller clubs to not run at a loss though.

That might increase costs. Would they be buying equipment to be shared or does everyone get kitted out? If shared your the talking about staggered kick off times. Would they be chipping in for a few pro cameramen and commentators?

I've tried making this idea of streaming add up to a viable project but it falls to pieces every time I apply any thought to it.

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23 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

It really doesnt. Even if we assume we can keep sales to away fans in full, something Dundee and Hearts may well not be happy about, we cant run a squad for a year on sales for 4 games.

And it cant be 'trialled'. You either insist on clubs committing to it or you dont. You cant 'try' a football season. We either employ players or we dont. You cant employ them for a couple of weeks, and thats ignoring the fact they would need 6 weeks minimum pre season first.

Obviously you couldn't run on those games alone, I was just highlighting that they would help with the below average gates.

13 minutes ago, Mr X said:

I think youre vastly overestimating demand and the price people would pay, particularly considering some clibs would be single camera with no replays or commentary.

As SD said, at best it's a revenue stream that woukd reduce losses if games went ahead behind closed doors and you can't trial it without playing games.

There's some talk on the Alloa thread about pooling resources. Maybe that's a more sensible idea, a centralised service with someone kind of revenue sharing. Still unlikely to generate enough money for the smaller clubs to not run at a loss though.

Maybe I am overestimating and maybe others are underestimating.

I have said before it wouldn't be as profitable as an open doors regular game, however with presumably reduced wages, it might help clubs break even and keep people employed.

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Yeah I just cant see it happening.  I highly doubt over half of Dundee's home support would pay £20 to watch a stream of a lower league game.  Even if they did, that's great, what about the games against the other 7 teams who aren't Hearts or Dundee?

The Bundesliga was shite to watch at the weekend.  This was one of the best leagues in the world, at a time where football had been off air for months and many were desperate to have it back.  It was pish, lack of intensity or spectacle in any way.  And that was watching it on TV.  Are we really expecting enough people to pay at least £20 a week, every week, to watch this level of football remotely? 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mr X said:

I think youre vastly overestimating demand and the price people would pay, particularly considering some clibs would be single camera with no replays or commentary.

As SD said, at best it's a revenue stream that woukd reduce losses if games went ahead behind closed doors and you can't trial it without playing games.

There's some talk on the Alloa thread about pooling resources. Maybe that's a more sensible idea, a centralised service with someone kind of revenue sharing. Still unlikely to generate enough money for the smaller clubs to not run at a loss though.

Agreed on pricing.  One of the other key risks is that fans meet in groups so there is only one payment.  That isn't necessarily a case of saving money - watching with other fans is a key part of the experience of watching football.  There will be plenty of households with more than one fan.  There will be others who may turn a Nelsonian eye to soclal distancing for a couple of hours so they can watch with friends.

I wonder if the point about trials is that you can test the technology and the user experience by offering free viewing for pre-season games?  Unless the costs of testing are reduced that may mean clubs having a bounce game including youth players rather than a traditional friendly.

In terms of pooling, there might be an argument for a levy on the cost of streaming to fund a studio where there could be some half time analysis, replays etc to make the experience a bit closer to watching on TV.  I agree that the lack of commentary could be a real turn off.  I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that clubs won't run at a loss until fans return.  However, they will be losing some money now, with losses increasing once employers have to start contributing to furlough payments, and increasing again at the end of furlough.

At the risk of stating the fecking obvious, the biggest problem is the lack of certainty on when crowds can return.  By that I mean crowds as before, as I can't see a socially distanced crowd being of much help to anyone, particularly in stands.  

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9 minutes ago, CALDERON said:

Yeah I just cant see it happening.  I highly doubt over half of Dundee's home support would pay £20 to watch a stream of a lower league game.  Even if they did, that's great, what about the games against the other 7 teams who aren't Hearts or Dundee?

The Bundesliga was shite to watch at the weekend.  This was one of the best leagues in the world, at a time where football had been off air for months and many were desperate to have it back.  It was pish, lack of intensity or spectacle in any way.  And that was watching it on TV.  Are we really expecting enough people to pay at least £20 a week, every week, to watch this level of football remotely? 

 

To be fair, people pay £20 a week to sit freezing at matches in the Championship that are shite to watch, have lack of intensity and spectacle in any way.

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19 minutes ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

That might increase costs. Would they be buying equipment to be shared or does everyone get kitted out? If shared your the talking about staggered kick off times. Would they be chipping in for a few pro cameramen and commentators?

I've tried making this idea of streaming add up to a viable project but it falls to pieces every time I apply any thought to it.

A shared service should reduce costs, otherwise you're not doing it right!

Im not talking about the SPFL providing a full blown broadcasting service, more that they would provide the platform to handle subscriptions and streaming. 

In terms of equipment, it would be the same whether each club does their own thing or whether its shared. If we're talking about replicating what the likes of Falkirk and Dundee Utd do now for overseas fans then the equipment needed shouldnt be much more than a camera(s) and some AV kit to handle the video feed(s) from the camera(s).

On top of that, you need an internet connection to upload the stream and a service to manage the subscriptions and streaming to fans. There are plenty out there but if each club was to sign up and pay individually its going to  cost more, overall, than if the SPFL provided something.

Why would you need to stagger kick off times? Queens fans pay to watch Queens games, Morton fans pay to watch Morton games, Hearts fans for Hearts games etc.

No, Im not suggesting the SPFL provide cameramen or commentators. Each club would do that and where the clubs cant then the away team could agree to provide the coverage. Im sure between the 10 teams there would be few, if any, games where one club or the other couldnt cover it.

There are obvious flaws in all of this, of course. The coverage isnt going to be great, as I said earlier, and is going to vary wildly from one club to another for one.

And, at the end of all  that, its still highly unlikely to generate the numbers to stop clubs running at a loss. However, its better than games going on behind closed doors, if it comes to that,  with no coverage or income for the clubs

12 minutes ago, johnnydun said:

Obviously you couldn't run on those games alone, I was just highlighting that they would help with the below average gates.

Maybe I am overestimating and maybe others are underestimating.

I have said before it wouldn't be as profitable as an open doors regular game, however with presumably reduced wages, it might help clubs break even and keep people employed.

The closest thing Queens have is the trial we did a couple of seasons ago when we offered delayed coverage of the full 90 minutes for the Betfred cup games. There were just over 300 subscribers to that.

Now, it wasnt live and it was for games where the fans could go and watch, so it isnt a direct comparison, but it was free! 

You might double that for live streaming, you might even treble it. You're still well under the average actual attendance though.

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14 minutes ago, Flash said:

To be fair, people pay £20 a week to sit freezing at matches in the Championship that are shite to watch, have lack of intensity and spectacle in any way.

They do.  However going to match is a completely different experience than watching at home.  For many its about the social aspect and the routine of getting up and going to a game on a Saturday. 

One of the benefits of televised football matches is usually that they contain some kind of atmosphere which helps add to the sense of occasion.  

If elite level football is dull behind closed doors, I can't see what's going to suddenly make lower league Scottish football work in the way it needs to. 

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31 minutes ago, CALDERON said:

Yeah I just cant see it happening.  I highly doubt over half of Dundee's home support would pay £20 to watch a stream of a lower league game.  Even if they did, that's great, what about the games against the other 7 teams who aren't Hearts or Dundee?

The Bundesliga was shite to watch at the weekend.  This was one of the best leagues in the world, at a time where football had been off air for months and many were desperate to have it back.  It was pish, lack of intensity or spectacle in any way.  And that was watching it on TV.  Are we really expecting enough people to pay at least £20 a week, every week, to watch this level of football remotely? 

 

Would you normally watch the Bundesliga? I don't, however I did watch it last weekend and will probably do the same this weekend, this is for clubs I have no support or affiliation with whatsoever, so I know for certain I would pay to watch my own club.

 

12 minutes ago, Mr X said:

The closest thing Queens have is the trial we did a couple of seasons ago when we offered delayed coverage of the full 90 minutes for the Betfred cup games. There were just over 300 subscribers to that.

Now, it wasnt live and it was for games where the fans could go and watch, so it isnt a direct comparison, but it was free! 

You might double that for live streaming, you might even treble it. You're still well under the average actual attendance though.

Say you did treble it, that's 900, so you would only need 500 away fans to reach the average attendance.

How many season books did Queens shift last season?

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10 hours ago, Ludo*1 said:

I mentioned our insurance a few posts back and in theory that should be solid but Tweets likes this, as harmless as they are (I mean, what else could the club realistically say?) still give me the absolute fear:

 

Insurers are going to look for every single possible loophole they can to not pay out. We seem to have more solid cover than most due to us having the additions of 'Notifiable Diseases and Prevention of Access to our Commercial Combined' that many companies who have Business Interruption insurance don't have but it's still a scary time.

Surely the ticket office are furloughed? Don't imagine we'll have the staff ready to even attempt processing things until they are back. I wouldn't think insurance would pay out right now though - the scale of the damage isn't final and these things can take a long time.

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10 hours ago, Ludo*1 said:

I mentioned our insurance a few posts back and in theory that should be solid but Tweets likes this, as harmless as they are (I mean, what else could the club realistically say?) still give me the absolute fear:

 

Insurers are going to look for every single possible loophole they can to not pay out. We seem to have more solid cover than most due to us having the additions of 'Notifiable Diseases and Prevention of Access to our Commercial Combined' that many companies who have Business Interruption insurance don't have but it's still a scary time.

Very handy for just now but I doubt it would be a multi year policy and when it runs out there won't be  another one.

 

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10 minutes ago, Mr X said:

 

The closest thing Queens have is the trial we did a couple of seasons ago when we offered delayed coverage of the full 90 minutes for the Betfred cup games. There were just over 300 subscribers to that.

Now, it wasnt live and it was for games where the fans could go and watch, so it isnt a direct comparison, but it was free! 

You might double that for live streaming, you might even treble it. You're still well under the average actual attendance though.

The crowds for the Betfred cup group games are generally much lower than for league games. If you trebled the subscriber number, you’d probably be close to the actual crowd. I’m not saying there would be sufficient numbers, just that the lower crowds for group games would also have to be factored into any estimate.

5 minutes ago, CALDERON said:

They do.  However going to match is a completely different experience than watching at home.  For many its about the social aspect and the routine of getting up and going to a game on a Saturday. 

One of the benefits of televised football matches is usually that they contain some kind of atmosphere which helps add to the sense of occasion.  

If elite level football is dull behind closed doors, I can't see what's going to suddenly make lower league Scottish football work in the way it needs to. 

I know. I wasn’t being entirely serious. Saying that, many games at Palmerston have zero atmosphere and there wouldn’t be much difference between sitting at home watching it and sitting in what amounts to an outdoor library.

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5 minutes ago, johnnydun said:

Say you did treble it, that's 900, so you would only need 500 away fans to reach the average attendance.

How many season books did Queens shift last season?

Which you might get once or twice a season.

I'd be hugely surprised if you could treble it at, say, £20 a game. So if you're charging in the £5-10 range you'd have to have significantly more subscribers than you had attending fans. 

As I said, at best, its going to provide some income and reduce losses.

If games go ahead behind closed doors, clubs should try and stream games, if only just to try and keep fans engaged, but its not going to replace ticket money

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Just now, Flash said:

The crowds for the Betfred cup group games are generally much lower than for league games. If you trebled the subscriber number, you’d probably be close to the actual crowd. I’m not saying there would be sufficient numbers, just that the lower crowds for group games would also have to be factored into any estimate.

Fair point. But then you could counter that by saying that the Betfred trial covered both the home games. 

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1 hour ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

I've tried making this idea of streaming add up to a viable project but it falls to pieces every time I apply any thought to it.

I think, and I'm really not trying to be a smartass here or get at Johnny (I accidentally pissed off the Ayr fans last weekend), that most of the people talking about this as if it is remotely viable arent conscious of anything like the numbers involved in running a football club. There isnt the slightest chance that closed door professional football can be funded in any way by online subs at this level. If we are suggesting teams fill squads with amateurs then maybe but the problem there will be the clubs who already have pros signed up in great numbers.

1 hour ago, johnnydun said:

Obviously you couldn't run on those games alone, I was just highlighting that they would help with the below average gates.

Maybe I am overestimating and maybe others are underestimating.

I have said before it wouldn't be as profitable as an open doors regular game, however with presumably reduced wages, it might help clubs break even and keep people employed.

It wouldnt be profitable at all. I think the point you are missing is footballers generally are not employed now, or shortly wont be. Dundee have a relatively full squad, and for the moment insurance that will help though that wont last forever and you can bet it wont be renewed whenever its up for renewal. But most other clubs at this level will have less than 11 players signed. Signing players to play loss making games is absolute madness and will accelerate the clubs into financial difficulties far more so than mothballing until we can open 'normally'. It would need some sort of mass Govt subsidy to run without crowds in even the medium term of a couple of months.

The big Leagues are coming back closed door because the penalty clauses to tv companies for not playing are worse than the costs of playing. Thats not a factor for us. If it cant be done profitably (or at least with lower losses than not playing) then its not going to be.

1 hour ago, Parttimesupporter said:

I wonder if the point about trials is that you can test the technology and the user experience by offering free viewing for pre-season games?  Unless the costs of testing are reduced that may mean clubs having a bounce game including youth players rather than a traditional friendly.

In terms of pooling, there might be an argument for a levy on the cost of streaming to fund a studio where there could be some half time analysis, replays etc to make the experience a bit closer to watching on TV.  I agree that the lack of commentary could be a real turn off.  I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that clubs won't run at a loss until fans return.  However, they will be losing some money now, with losses increasing once employers have to start contributing to furlough payments, and increasing again at the end of furlough.

At the risk of stating the fecking obvious, the biggest problem is the lack of certainty on when crowds can return.  By that I mean crowds as before, as I can't see a socially distanced crowd being of much help to anyone, particularly in stands.  

I dont think a trial of a bounce friendly will be meaningful at all except in proving the technology works for those clubs who didnt already do it. 

Otherwise though pretty much agree with everything else you said. If we knew crowds could return in October say then we could amend the fixture schedule or consider whether playing a month or two closed door is achievable if required. But you cant employ a squad now in the vague hope you might be able to generate income in 3 or 4 months but might not be able to until at least 2021.

The idea that Hearts for instance, who are pretty much furious with every club other than Inverness, are going to merrily offer to pool the subs of their fans so that Alloa, Arbroath and QoS can maybe think about employing a team is ridiculous.

39 minutes ago, johnnydun said:

Would you normally watch the Bundesliga? I don't, however I did watch it last weekend and will probably do the same this weekend, this is for clubs I have no support or affiliation with whatsoever, so I know for certain I would pay to watch my own club.

Bundesliga had a novelty last week (& I still didnt watch it, but I dont have BT). By the time we might come back the main Euro Leagues will already be back and nobody neutral will be desperately lacking a football fix. Nobody is going to pay to watch Championship games without a vested interest in one of the teams. Hell if I had to pay on an individual match basis I wouldnt watch half the games on Sky that I do!

Edited by Skyline Drifter

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4 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

 

The idea that Hearts for instance, who are pretty much furious with every club other than Inverness, are going to merrily offer to pool the subs of their fans so that Alloa, Arbroath and QoS can maybe think about employing a team is ridiculous.

 

Im sure you're right.  The alternative could be, though, that there are no clubs for Hearts to play against.

Im also pretty sure Hearts have no problem in taking the pooled TV money generated by the OF, or that they would argue strongly against either of the OF breaking away from that and selling their broadcast rights separately.

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