The contrast in fortunes in between the leading English football clubs and those in the lower leagues seems to be getting bigger. And by the top football teams I’m not always describing all those in the Premiership as being economically healthy in the wealthiest of all the English soccer leagues.
Take the scenario with Portsmouth F.C for instance. The players got their December earnings eight days late. Which was only after the club’s owners managed to get hold of a short-term loan so they might pay the cash. This is the third time the club has been late with players ‘and other staff’s wages. Added to their problems the HM Profits & Customs is threatening the club with a winding up petition. Their on pitch issues are just as severe as their off pitch ones as they languish in the bottom part of the Premiership.
Taking a look at a team which is probably fairly common of a side in the lower leagues, Rochdale, we see a side that is succeeding on the pitch, where they are presently in top position in League 2.
Rochdale’s average participation is around 3,500. No doubt success on the field is helping them to keep their fans taking a trip to the video games to view them. But, entering to the match is definitely not low-cost, particularly is it difficult throughout this time of economic crisis.
The least expensive match day ticket will cost ₤ 14 for an adult, with concessionary tickets for children or pensioners around ₤ 9. Family tickets can assist alleviate the concern a little. Then there’s the cost of food and drink inside the ground, which is never ever inexpensive at any football ground. A program is ₤ 3. Added to that is the expense of travel, which for fans taking a trip to other premises can be horrendous. And for the die hard fans who purchase the kits, Replica shirts for grownups are ₤ 37.99, Junior shirts ₤ 27.99, Shorts ₤ 14.99 and Socks ₤ 7.99. That’s about ₤ 100 per complete kit.
And, if Rochdale are promoted at the end of the season they ‘ll need to come up with 20 % higher salaries for their players. Can they afford it? Will the advocates continue coming through the gates, faced with potentially greater ticket prices to assist cover higher costs?
At the other end of the spectrum Manchester City, one of the richest of all clubs, has actually reported a loss of ₤ 92 million for the year up to May 31st 2009. That’s a big jump in losses from the previous year, when it was ₤ 32 million. Naturally the majority of the enhanced expense was down to huge transfer fees being paid for brand-new players, and the higher costs of wages for some of the world’s leading gamers.
However, where such high quantities of money are involved football club’s owners require success, which is why Mark Hughes is now the ex-Manchester City manager, being fired after not winning sufficient matches.
The truth is that in spite of the economic crisis in England football is still in a reasonably healthy condition.
Manchester United is among the most effective football clubs worldwide. Their success on the pitch is mirrored by their success off it. They have the largest club arena capability in England, seating over 75,000 supporters. And, unlike the majority of clubs, they have no trouble filling it at their home games, in addition to swelling numbers at their away matches too.
The rate of tickets do n`t seem to put fans off either, costing twice as much as they provide for that of Rochdale. Hospitality boxes can cost from a little over ₤ 100 plus VAT for a low-profile match. A Carling Cup semi-final for instance is ₤ 119 + VAT for the plan, right on up to over ₤ 550 when the checking out group is one like Chelsea or Liverpool. Rates do consist of meal, complimentary drinks, car parking, and programme nevertheless. Opt for a leading private executive box and the price for a season rockets to a beginning rate of ₤ 18,600. Generally it’s businesses who purchase the executive boxes.