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It’s 25 years since Manchester United won the inaugural Premier League title. Back then you could buy a match day ticket for less than a fiver.
Back in 1992 ticket money was a critical part of a club’s revenue, but as television has taken over top-flight football the money clubs receive has soared. For clubs like AFC Bournemouth, in the lower echelons of the league in the nineties, it was even more important. Add in a few Cup ticket sales and a few shirt sales and the club were probably making an extra 2% in revenue. The big boost came when we sold players, and eventually got a backer with a bit of cash, not like those losers from Sport 6.
But, ever since our rise to the Premier League it has all changed. AFC Bournemouth is now in its third season in the money-sodden Premier League and the cash just keeps coming.
HOW MUCH TV MONEY DID AFC BOURNEMOUTH MAKE IN 2016/2017?
Let’s forget about shirt sales, they probably wouldn’t even pay for all the iPads used in performance and analysis. For this article we are going to concentrate on matchday ticket sales. Note we will be making a few assumptions here, but we will try our very best to be as accurate as possible. To give the article a bit of perspective we are going to work out how much TV money the club gets and where it comes from.
Our highest ever League finish added a little extra but the grand total of around £125m is pretty much what we can expect for just being in the Premier League. That’s a lot of money. And, now we know why we paid £200,000 for Rhoys Wiggins, simply because we could.
WHAT ABOUT TICKET SALES?
So when we hear the owners, directors and investors telling us they care about the fans, what are they really giving us? Obviously entertaining, attacking football but at what cost? We think with all the money saturating the club, matchday tickets are over-priced. We don’t care what the market rate is, perhaps all Premier League clubs are charging too much. Can you remember the last time the club did kids for a quid? It was when the club wanted to attract more fans, and now they have they make them pay full-price.
Dean Court’s (yes we still call it Dean Court) current capacity is around 11,400. To be precise its 11,464, but this can flucutuate depending on circumstances. We are going to base ticket prices at an average of £32, the price paid in the South Stand. Again, prices vary across the ground and based on age, and there are season tickets holders, who get a discount. So, we are erring on the side on generousity here.
£6.9m – Ticket revenue for full price tickets
So let’s do the maths. For one game it’s 11400 x £32. That equals £364,800. How many games do we have at home in the Premier League? Nineteen. So 19 x £364,800 = £6.9m. A lot of money, probably just enough to pay a couple of players wages.
What about tickets at a tenner?
Now let’s do the same maths but make the tickets £10 a game. So, 11400 x 10 = £114,000 per game. Again multiply this by 19 and we have £2.15m in ticket sales.
A lot of money if we were back in League One with Sport 6 in charge, but not quite such a relative vast sum when you are being given around £125m for being in the Premier League. Add the seasons ticket sales at full price and that is a grand total of around £132m. Now add the £10 tickets total to £125m + £2.15m and we have a grand total of £127.15m, lets make that £127m for ease of maths.
What’s the difference?
That’s £127m with tickets prices at £10 or £132m with tickets at full-price. That’s a difference around slightly less than £5m, which is almost peanuts in the grand schemes of things when you are in the Premier League. Remember this is for all games. Cut this to five games and the difference is an even more manageable £1.25m.
WHAT CAN YOU GET FOR £5m IN THE EPL?
Do AFC Bournemouth desperately need that £5m? We will leave you to decide on that. But what does £5m buy you in the Premier League. It will buy you half an Asmir Begovic, a quarter of a Nathan Ake or pay Jermain Defoe’s wages for a season and a help (assuming he’s on £60k a week).
Let’s take that 60K a week and make it £58K a week, that will be £8k a month saved or £96,000 over a year. Now apply that to the first eleven and that is a saving of around £1m over the season. That is a fifth of the way to covering the cost. Add in Eddie Howe’s share and that should cover it (only joking Eddie).
We are not saying the players should take a pay cut, but when wages are exceeding £20/30/40/50/60k a week how hard up can you be for anything. How much difference will that two grand make? Maybe not much to a player, but that could easily be a fans monthly wage.
We as fans need AFC Bournemouth and they need us. Perhaps, only make 5 games of the season £10, may be do it for ten games. Whatever AFC Bournemouth decide, they should do it. This would be a truly great gesture to the fans who have followed them through thick and thin and help encourage a whole new generation of fans. Over to you Mr Mostyn.