The tabloids and the general media tell us how much football clubs are in financial trouble, this may be as bad as going into administration or selling off assets, being players or grounds, or the so called successful clubs who play there football in the top tiers of European football. These ‘giants’ of the game are in just as much, or if not more trouble than the ‘smaller’ clubs.
When the Glazers took over at Manchester United they had to put one of the richest clubs in the world into a debt that most small counties do not have, but given their revenue from gate receipts, sponsorship and merchandise they must have seen this as a good financial deal.
On a smaller scale we have seen what has happen to the likes of Leeds and Portsmouth who took that big risk whilst they are in the premiership to push on for a European spot or prize by paying high transfer fees and high salaries for players, as we know this didn’t work out for either club and they both got relegated and suffered with trying to balance the books.
But after the history of these unsuccessful clubs trying to push into the higher levels of the football ladder we have clubs who are still doing this. Crawley are currently paying high transfer fees and high wages that football league teams can not pay so that they can try and push up the football pyramid, Brighton is another club that is doing the same and building a new stadium to accompany them in the higher leagues. I am sure that there are other clubs who are or will take the risk but it is yet to be seen if they will accomplish their task without going bankrupt.
With all these clubs doing all this to be successful it is the fans that ultimately have to pay for this success or failure. The supporters have to buy the merchandise and fill the stadiums for the gate receipts so they can fund the clubs venture. But with prices in all parts of football rising can the average fan really keep doing this?
The average premiership adult ticket price is £45 which is continually rising, a replica football shirt fetches around £50, with these sort of prices in the current economical climate it is getting increasingly more difficult for the average fan to keep filling the stadiums. If these prices keep rising out of proportion with the public income how do the clubs plan to keep filling their stadiums and selling their merchandise, will we get to a point where these clubs that are pushing forward for success keep rising their prices once they have reached the premiership to sustain their status but with only the rich and famous supporting them in a half empty stadium?
Surely there must be a happy medium so that the clubs can still push for awards but also have fans cheering them on in a full stadium wearing their teams colours but what will it take for clubs to realise this?
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