Opinion: The Price Of Love

21
Oct
2015

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Opinion

celtic-park-glasgow-d030514-d1

 

The publishing of BBC price of football survey is always interesting as it always bears little resemblance to what we pay to watch Celtic.

 

This season the average away price to watch Celtic has been over £24. Away fans attending Celtic Park have been charged a minimum of £26 for the worst seats in the stadium.  These figures are not close to the £20 quoted and lauded by Neil Doncaster.

 

It’s clear that clubs are trying to attract fans back with inventive pricing but it’s clear that we are not included in this. It’s hard not to conclude that our own clubs non action regarding ticket pricing sees us unfairly treated elsewhere.

 

The club’s biggest asset is the support and there are thousands disenfranchised and are being left behind by the club.

 

The support are a constant though.

 

The club can appoint managers who will fail, sign players who will fail and make business decisions that fail but the only thing that is constant is the support. Unlike other revenue streams they are always there in some shape or form.

 

Is there any other business in the world where their plan prices their main revenue stream out of attending or doesn’t maximise it’s potential?  

 

While the club should be applauded for the dropping season book prices in 2012, the current season increase was unnecessary and the way it was implemented, with very little consultation, was wrong. That the rise is still being seen as a reduction by the club indicates that prices will rise to 2012 levels sooner rather than later.

 

That the 2012 figure is seen as a baseline figure and that is wrong. That was an inflated figure based on an arms race that was built on sand.

 

The demographic who watch Celtic and football on the whole has changed. That’s because they are the only ones who can afford to attend games. You have another demographic who would love to attend games but can’t afford to on a regular basis or at all.

 

At our recent home game with Dundee season ticket holders got given two free tickets if they wished. Some of our clubs used this to give fans in their community the opportunity to attend a game. Lots of tickets were gifted to boys clubs and most saw whole families have a day out, which they would have been never able to afford.

 

One family I spoke to said it would have cost them over £100 for tickets and travel. How many families can afford over £100 for a day out on a regular basis?    

 

Our pricing is seeing us lose a generation of supporters to whom attending the game is not part and parcel of supporting Celtic.

 

We have to capture these fans. Our pricing has to be accessible on a consistent basis.

 

While our match day revenue is made up mainly of season ticket holders the question needs to be asked is are the club giving those season ticket holders the value and what they want? Has this income been maximised?

 

We all understand the need for the club to be run as a business and on the whole it’s run very well as a business. What’s good for the business may not be good for Celtic though and in the long term could damage the club.

 

It’s not the case of reducing prices and everything will be rosy. There needs to be cheaper match day tickets but there also needs to be more variation in season book packages in an effort to maximise that income. The one hat fits all approach is outdated. It’s time for Celtic to offer a wide and diverse range of tickets and pricing. To be the market leader in this.
What the club need to realise is that twenty is plenty for some but not for others.

One Comment

  1. Michael Bhoyle
    Posted October 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Well said sir,
    I had an ST for 18 years…then I retired.
    Bang went the ST…I can’t afford it.
    I still can’t afford to travel to the game and pay to get in,at the current level of pricing…much as I’d love to.
    I appreciate the need for the Club to maximise its income…but I warmly applaud your thought that “thinking outside the box” might encourage people like me to turn up again.
    Hail hail

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