Crisis? What Crisis?
The title,of course,alludes to words famously NOT said by PM James Callaghan during The Winter of Discontent. And they haven’t been uttered by our board either. Despite the pricing package for Champions League tickets which were announced on Wednesday.
They are either in Three Wise Monkey land,or lying in a darkened room wearing blindfolds and earplugs.
£129 for the three matches,on the face of it,sounds fair. But there’s always a but…
I must admit to being somewhat disappointed at the pricing for the three game package of our group games in The Champions League.
£129 may be justifiable for the likes of Spurs,but we aren’t Spurs,and we don’t live in the high wage economy of that London that sucks all the soul and money from elsewhere.
I remember the Liverpool fans campaign not so long ago. ”Twenty Is Plenty” and they were right. But how low do we go to make the prices somewhere near what we would recognise as acceptable?
Do we go for the Liverpool fans plan,£60 for a three match package?
Well,yes we bloody well should-given the guaranteed income from being in the competition in the first place! I remember it being pointed out a few years back that many clubs in England,with their guaranteed income via TV-and for the bigger clubs,European competition-could easily afford to let the fans in for nothing.
Gate income was negligible by comparison,apparently.
The pandemic sure put that to bed for all but the bigger teams,who actually did survive,and fairly easily too,without gate income. I recall reading that when Bournemouth went down after five years in the EPL,they had financial problems. Despite nearly £600m in TV and prize money over those years.
Around £120m in debt when they finally went down. Don’t get me wrong,we all like to champion the underdog,and I was somewhat miffed when they slipped out on the last day. But £120m? For a club with a stadium capacity of about 11,000?
But then,how many tickets,even at £40 a whip over five,years covers that financial gap? Say 19 games each year,and even at those exorbitant prices,I only see about £40m. Or £8m a year. And that is on the top side. And that increase in income,which doesn’t come close to covering their deficit,is to suggest that they had previously let the fans in for free.
Which they hadn’t,of course.
But then,what is acceptable for us-the Twenty’s Plenty plan? After last night’s result,maybe they have a point. That lot qualifying has cost us a good few quid-but the fact that European sides haven’t figured out how to play against them should not burden Celtic fans with onerous ticket prices.
The way things are going for far too many of us,even that £60 might be difficult to justify-especially when you add in the matchday costs we all incur every time. £60 for the three games,plus extra for the expensive seats,that’s maybe £5m at most. The current package is more than twice that. The club are out of pocket by maybe £6m if they went ahead with at.
A drop in the ocean though when compared to the TV income and prize money,and let’s not forget why that came about-we gave the club the money to rebuild the team after they had effed up!
Maybe the best thing was actually during the pandemic when we weren’t allowed into the ground,it cost us the square root of sod all to watch the game on the lappy. Well,not in additional matchday costs.
Season ticket holders still had to cough up in full for it. And I’m reliably informed that the Business Interruption Insurance-which took some time to come through,and I was very critical at the time,that maybe we didn’t have it!-more than covered the club’s pandemic losses. Which included typical merchandise and matchday income.
The fans got a dodgy stream to watch on a laptop or Smart TV if they were lucky. Terrific…
£129? They have short memories indeed.
Above article by BMCUWP