Joe Kinnear’s Inglorious “Return” To Newcastle United

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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2 Responses

  1. Row Z says:

    On the subject of ticket prices I’ve been doing a lot of reading around the issue, in particular at the contrast between the Premier League and the Bundesliga.

    The problem is one of lack of capacity. English stadia are on average sold out more, whilst German stadia are bigger which is quite a lot to do with 1.4 billion euros worth of public money spent on them immediately prior to World Cup 2006 – It also helps that German stadia have terracing.

    I’m not one of the football is a business types, but the issue is that (in the English model at least) to compete at the top level clubs need to generate all the revenue they can and spend as much on wages as possible. Not to do so would mean dropping out of the Premier League and missing out on the lucrative broadcasting money so the choice then would be to run an unsustainable wage bill and climb back out of the Championship before the parachute payments run out, or go to the wall trying.

    Going back to grounds clubs were forced to develop their stadiums in the 1990s, and 2000s but now in the Premier league these are mostly full – around a 95% capacity utilization rate across all clubs. This creates a problem where supply is often below demand and as clubs need to maximise revenue to remain competitive the incentive for them is to charge higher and higher prices.

    Just to compound things developing a new ground is a risky business and requires a serious commitment to bankrolling the team while revenue is diverted into the project. Throw in issues around planning, transport and local politics and you have some big barriers and the bigger the stadium the bigger the issues – as this story about expanding St. Mary’s stadium shows http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/sport/saints/news/10353818.Special_report__Should_Saints_expand_St_Mary_s_Stadium_/

    And as long as someone is prepared to pay the highest price there is a reduced incentive to actually take the risk of development as the extra supply would potentially have the effect of reducing price so the extra revenues from additional capacity may well be quite diminished.

    So basically the best way to lower ticket prices would be to host a World Cup. This would bring in investement, political will and public money into the equation. In terms of the Bundesliga it is this which has allowed the German model of bigger stadiums and lower ticket prices. Apart from a World Cup terracing would be an easy way of increasing capacities and reducing development costs, but for obvious, and very valid, reasons this isn’t a straightforward move.

    In the current system clubs will never lower ticket prices as revenues are all important to success, the option here is for fans to simply say enough is enough, but ultimately reducing a clubs revenue streams will make them less able to compete for the top players and therefore suffer from the competition.

    For me the most sensible option would be for the Premier League to introduce a rule that a set percentage of the additional revenues from the new broadcasting deals – which are still way in excess of the other top leagues is spent, not on increased wages, but on subsidising matchday tickets and away travel. Were the league to enforce this clubs would not be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis other clubs, though there would be a potential danger of clubs being outbid for the top players by other competitors from among the big-5 leagues. Were this to happen the effect on the English model of top wages for top talent would be a catastrophic bursting of the bubble resulting in a Seria A style fall from grace with the irony being that then ticket prices would come down for sure.

  2. Row Z says:

    Oops not sure how this ended up here. Was meant to be on the ticket price post!

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