Chelsea FC directors say their club needs more season tickets as the ground isn’t big enough. There is a suspicion that their Russian Oligarch wants away from financing them and it’s time for them to stand on their own feet as Financial Fair Play looms large. Player’s wages versus gate receipts cannot be justified if they stay where they are. But still their fans bemoan the current tickets prices, whilst demanding the club doesn’t move.
So there you have it, all those happy fans who loved the spend, spend, spend days are now faced with the reality of what being in debt means. Don’t want to pay, don’t want to move, while their creditors circle in case the Russian goes off and takes his money to fight his election as Putin demands. What does the future hold for them and their club?
How different are Arsenal, debt almost eradicated gate receipts enough to cover wages and a profit being returned annually, enough to keep our owners interested?
But still some fans are objecting. They want trophies and for the club to spend some money and bugger the consequences. We want trophies, 6 years we have waited it’s a disgrace, what are these yanks up to, why won’t they spend the money, fire the manager, he has lost the plot. Let’s demonstrate, with some creative thinking, I know we’ll make a banner, a bloody big one, get our message across. We buy the tickets, it’s our club. Without us fans there would be nothing.
Wrong, my friends, oh so wrong. Arsenal FC, like Chelsea and all the privately owned clubs have the potential to become a Franchise. Should Chelsea move to Slough, Harlow or Wapping it matters not, they would be welcomed with open arms by local councils for the money they would bring in.
Their fans, not all of whom by any stretch of the imagination live in the borough, would continue to go, maybe some of the ‘I am here to be seen’ show business lovies might find the journeys a mite too arduous, but they in all probability are only temporary anyway.
Professional sports clubs bring in fans by the thousand and their spending power feeds the coffers of local business and the transport companies that get them there. They provide jobs, as brilliantly broken down in yesterday’s post by GIE. 600 casual staff alone work at the Arsenal on match days and the club pays business rates worth many thousands of pounds.
Take test cricket as an example. There are 7 home test matches next year and 9 counties who with the help of investment from the local councils, have upgraded their grounds in the hope that they will get one. Lancashire’s MD has expressed the view that those grounds that don’t get one are in danger of going broke. But still the local councils invest, why, because of the revenue a successful bid generates and all will bid every year desperate to succeed and stay in business
So it is with football, and for this reason if you have ownership of a club you are in the driving seat. You have the power to place your toy where you want, forget the football League they haven’t the balls to say boo to a big club let alone tell them what to do. Ask Leyton Orient as they contemplate the hammers moving onto their manor.
Franchises based on the American model could well be on their way here and fans had better wise up or they, like their American cousins could see teams uproot and move lock stock and barrel. Remember it doesn’t only have to be in this country for the big boys, should a European League comes to fruition, then anywhere is possible.
Written by dandan