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Jack Waddington

Cost of Football

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Recently, there's been complaints of Dundee (and United's) Away Ticket Pricing. So I thought "How much would it cost for a Season Ticket holder to go to every single game. (Basically everywhere twice)

Both Dundee sides lead the pack with prices of £24 going on to a whopping £48 for two visits, and then nearly £100, if you're going for all 4 visits.

Then trailing far behind at a reasonable price, Alloa at £17 for both away days, just cheaper than the £18 at Arbroath, Ayr and Queen of the South.

The Travel Club, from what I've experienced, is approx £20 for away days, (don't know exact prices, cos my away days have all been down south, so don't have a clue if it changes depending on distances, so I'm sticking with £20)

So the total of all away days, plus transport, £678...

BUT if you're including the ICT Season Ticket, you're looking at £953

However, a cap at £20 isn't exactly going to do a lot, saving a mere £8

If I had knowledge, I would've done one including the prices of a Scotch Pie and Bovril, but as I've been to few or can't remember off hand, it's not happening.

Basic rundown of Ticket Prices;

1 - Dundee & United = £24

2 - Morton, Partick, Dunfermline and ICT = £20

3 - Arbroath, Ayr, QoTS = £18

4 - Alloa = £17

 

This is obviously excluding any cup games, as, unless you're a psychic or from the future, it's impossible to tell who we're playing...

 

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I'm not sure what message you are trying to make?

Is it that you think that the away day pricing is unfair that its not consistent across all clubs - in which case perhaps, but much in the same way as home pricing clubs can do this based on supply & demand to maximise their return regarding bums on seats - I'm pretty sure that for every division there is a SPFL price capping limit / structure for away tickets?

if you think overall football is too expensive, then substitute football for other live entertainment means such as the theatre, music events and then visit those every 2 wks and you will see that on balance football is probably competitively priced or in some cases underpriced - what occurs is that (without wanting to delve into a class system) - football is deemed a working mans game historically therefore people still expect it should be priced cheaply whereas the other options mentioned nobody cares about as are often seen as irregular of 'treats'. Reality is those days are long gone and football is an entertainment industry and has to be priced to reflect this - lesser prices, means lower income therefore poorer players and quality.

The higher up the divisions you go the more football costs to watch, unfortunately if you want to persist with following your club then its something that has to be accepted and as an individual work within your means, whether that's attending less games that you'd like, only doing home games or walking away as a fan to go watch lower division/less expensive football such as HL if you need a Sat live event fix.

 

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Difference being of course that when you go to the theatre, concert or similar for entertainment you know what you're going to get and you know who's playing, you can check reviews and so on. Fact is as well that virtually nobody goes go big concerts or events every single week. Of course for home games that's mitigated by a season ticket (probably makes it about £14 a game at the cheapest).

If football is an entertainment industry as you describe then that has to justify the cost and it has to be, well, entertaining (and I don't mean always winning). It very often is not. 

In my opinion, given the 'match day experience' and entertainment on show there's no justification for any Championship game to cost over £20 for an adult.

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On ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 10:50 AM, Fraz said:

In my opinion, given the 'match day experience' and entertainment on show there's no justification for any Championship game to cost over £20 for an adult.

I think the root cause is to be found in that old chestnut which is football's adoption of the Economics of the Madhouse - specifically in this case there being more full time football in Scotland than the market can comfortably sustain, alongside the sport's willingness to pay players over generously in relation to their ability and input.

In order to pay 20-odd guys full time wages to perform an activity which only earns money for the business for 90 minutes approximately once a week in front of modest crowds, Championship clubs (most of them full time) really have to push the boat out as far as possible in terms of earnings. In many cases (including ICT) they also rely on donations and subsidies from wealthy individuals and concerns.... and still sometimes sail perilously close to the wind in terms of administration and insolvency.

This has at least two negative implications for their customers - the fans. Firstly, clubs have to maximise ticket income and presumably various boards have concluded that the level which maximises that income (number of admissions x price) is in the £17 - £24 range. Many fans doubtless, and understandably, feel this is pretty expensive for a 90 minute event where a guarantee of customer satisfaction is a lot less certain than, for instance, in the theatre. However, fan loyalty to the product means that boards know that the normal parameters of price elasticity of demand also don't fully apply in football. To some extent that loyalty is therefore exploited by boards and translated into excessively generous player wages.

Another major down side for fans is inconvenient kick off times - such as tonight's in Inverness, which appears, understandably, not to have gone down well with Morton supporters. However, such is the need to earn TV money, principally to pay players, that this supporter goodwill is again taken for granted when these concessions are made to TV companies.

I'll also indulge in a bit of Devil's Advocacy (please note!) and ask - "Would fans accept a poorer standard of play through lower full time wages or part time status in return for a substantial reduction in ticket prices?" or.... "If it's too expensive, why do you keep paying?"

It has long been my view that football's Achilles heel is the payment of excess wages and the presumption that players will be paid for a very low level of performance and input. For this you need look no further than the Highland League where the "moneybags" clubs are paying totally silly sums and even Fort William were paying £20 a week for guys to concede 7 goals a game. This also in return for what, in the grander scheme of things, is little more than "kick and rush" fifth tier Scottish football. Many people in other sports - especially those who are out of pocket in order to be high performers - don't know whether to laugh or cry at the sense of entitlement in return for very little which is institutionalised within football.

However the bottom  line (yes.... it's here at last - I'm just making up for lost time in this one-off return on a subject which interests me!) is that it's football fans' pockets and convenience which, in part at least, pay for the widespread remuneration of players above their realistic market value.

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Couldn't agree more. it's almost as if anyone who can run for 90mins is athletic and can kick a ball  (not very well) is considered a footballer. In the 1970's there were probably 10,000 people playing just in the west of Scotland amateur leagues, (not including the juvenile leagues) these included the Schoolboy signings at the professional clubs, the promising pre reserve professional players were farmed out to the junior leagues such as Dalgleish to Cumbernauld, these leagues are a pale shadow of what they once were and as a result the number of "footballers" is miniscule. One only has to compare the Caley side under Paterson to the team today to realise the drastic drop in ability and yet people are being asked to pay top dollar for a vastly inferior product. The market will eventually rectify that discrepancy which will mean many more part time clubs.

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Compare that to ice hockey in the National Hockey League in Canada and the U.S .This is the premier league of ice hockey and the money poured into it is immense.

I have read that tickets can easily cost well over $100 per game  (at 1.56 dollars to the pound) I have yet to verify that though and crowds at the Vancouver stadium are rarely less then 18,000 t0 23,000 fans .For that they demand very fit and highly skilled players and those who don't, or can't,  perform soon languish elsewhere....either in the minor leagues or just out. 

The game is very fast and skilled  and expectations of quality performances is very high so generally speaking the players realise what a great career they can have and on balance work very hard to perform and succeed. However ownership of the franchises are usually by very wealthy  individuals and money never seems to be an object so that does make a difference doesn't it?

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1 hour ago, Scarlet Pimple said:

I have read that tickets can easily cost well over $100 per game  (at 1.56 dollars to the pound) I have yet to verify that though and crowds at the Vancouver stadium are rarely less then 18,000 t0 23,000 fans .For that they demand very fit and highly skilled players and those who don't, or can't,  perform soon languish elsewhere....either in the minor leagues or just out. 

Hockey in Toronto can be several hundred $$$ per game ... Its the only (major) sport we haven't taken our son to so far. We simply cannot and will not justify almost $1000 for a single night out.  Its actually cheaper for people in Toronto to drive to Ottawa/Montreal/Buffalo or in some cases to buy a cheap flight to Florida than it is to buy a ticket to see the Toronto Maple Leafs !!! Thats what we are looking at doing in 2020 for him so he can complete the set. The reason for this is primarily that 90% of the stadium/arena is filled with corporate season ticket holders who can write off the cost in their taxes. I think the same is probably true in many football stadiums across Europe, especially those of the more succesful teams with those insane wages that some players get .....

 

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On 9/3/2019 at 9:56 PM, wynthank15 said:

Couldn't agree more. it's almost as if anyone who can run for 90mins is athletic and can kick a ball  (not very well) is considered a footballer.

Are you perhaps being a little generous, because the degree of athleticism I’ve seen within many parts of paid football has been woeful in the extreme? 😩

I was at a shinty event yesterday and, in conversation with two “top end” players, the point was made that it actually costs them money to play. Both are based within 50 miles of Fort William, so the issue of “the documentary” inevitably arose, and the fact that these guys were actually getting paid £20 a week to be as abysmal as they were.

Then you similarly consider the unpaid players of Highland Rugby Club, just started in Scottish club rugby’s second tier, National 1.

I write this from an hotel room in Stirling where my daughter is running in tomorrow’s Scottish 10K championships. One of many, this is actually one of the cheaper trips away to a race which will cost her about £80. She has a full time job, trains six days a week and buys all her own kit. The only opportunity of reducing her costs is to win a race or take a top three finish, in which case there may be a prize, usually in the ballpark of £50 (or maybe just vouchers).

This is the scenario for someone pretty near the top end, with a number of Scotland selections to her name. Others slightly further down the pecking order, but still decent club runners, won’t even have the prize opportunities she has. And it’s all in complete contrast with the scenario wynthank15 describes where, for instance, in the Highland League there are hundreds of pounds a week paid, win, lose or draw, to play fifth tier football and - often begrudgingly - train twice a week.

 

PS - I do also note that the papers in their headlines also often apply the term “footballer” to guys who play in their local amateur leagues etc and who find themselves in court for whatever reason.😱

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It may appear to be grossly unfair, but the reality is that the disparity in rewards is a consequence of market forces.  Whilst I have tremendous admiration for athletes like your daughter and other sportsmen and women who work so hard to be the best they can in their chosen sport, few people have any desire to watch even top level athletes run round a track 25 times on a regular basis.  However, people are happy to pay to watch football week in and week out even when the players are far from being the elite.  For instance, I was at the game on Saturday and was well entertained.  In fact, had I paid twice the price I would still have felt I had got good value for money (although that is certainly not always the case!)

It comes down to personal choice.  If some people wish to pursue a sporting course which they know is not well remunerated, they they can hardly complain when they don't get well remunerated.  But then, that is not the reason people pursue these sports.  When you know your chosen sport does not offer significant financial rewards then what you are doing is, effectively,a hobby.  

Do footballers get paid too much?  Some are undoubtedly getting far more than their talents warrant but then that is the same in all aspects of the entertainment business and other walks of life.  But that is market forces for you.  The key to making money is not so much the level of skill required to do what you do, but whether people want to pay you money to do it.  

 

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The vast, vast majority of footballers pay to play, as I did. I congratulate any man or woman who manages to gain a professional contract to play football. As wynthank says, there is not the participation there used to be, and not on a par with places like the Faroe Islands, but it is still high. No point in people showing their lack of self-awareness by coming on a football forum if they don’t actually like football very much 😉

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11 hours ago, DoofersDad said:

It may appear to be grossly unfair, but the reality is that the disparity in rewards is a consequence of market forces.  Whilst I have tremendous admiration for athletes like your daughter and other sportsmen and women who work so hard to be the best they can in their chosen sport, few people have any desire to watch even top level athletes run round a track 25 times on a regular basis.  However, people are happy to pay to watch football week in and week out even when the players are far from being the elite.  For instance, I was at the game on Saturday and was well entertained.  In fact, had I paid twice the price I would still have felt I had got good value for money (although that is certainly not always the case!)

It comes down to personal choice.  If some people wish to pursue a sporting course which they know is not well remunerated, they they can hardly complain when they don't get well remunerated.  But then, that is not the reason people pursue these sports.  When you know your chosen sport does not offer significant financial rewards then what you are doing is, effectively,a hobby.  

Do footballers get paid too much?  Some are undoubtedly getting far more than their talents warrant but then that is the same in all aspects of the entertainment business and other walks of life.  But that is market forces for you.  The key to making money is not so much the level of skill required to do what you do, but whether people want to pay you money to do it.  

 

Well balanced post 

Totally agree with all you said.

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4 hours ago, TheMantis said:

The vast, vast majority of footballers pay to play, as I did. I congratulate any man or woman who manages to gain a professional contract to play football. As wynthank says, there is not the participation there used to be, and not on a par with places like the Faroe Islands, but it is still high. No point in people showing their lack of self-awareness by coming on a football forum if they don’t actually like football very much 😉

Absolutely correct Mantis

The majority of participating players paid or unpaid and the fans who attend games do so because they have a love of football.

 

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I don’t think the issue is how many  people who play football don’t get paid, because that is common across all sports. The issue is the extremely and uniquely large number who do get paid for playing football - where it’s possible to receive a regular wage, never mind simply payment by results, at remarkably low levels of competence, fitness and commitment compared with other sports.

And below the top tiers, I don’t really think popularity is an overwhelming factor because there are plenty of teams paying players to perform in front of quite small crowds in relation to their wage bills. This is something often made possible firstly by the willingness of wealthy people to subsidise these clubs with large donations, often in return for perceived prestige..... and secondly due to the clubs supporting their excessive wage bills by charging the kind of ticket prices which the Original Post was about and which fans frequently find burdensome.

.

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If Charles Bannerman makes anymore comebacks I think the site admin should change his username to Rocky.

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 And often fans go to a game with studied boredom in their sights but know that one or two  great pieces of skill, or a great goal,  will have their emotions stirring so hard that the "Ooh what a great game " factor seems to overwhelm them and thus they go to the next game ,,etc.

Especially when there is nothing else for them to do on a Saturday afternoon except listen to the wife bawling.."Henry, the lawn badly needs cutting, cherub". :santa:

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