European groundhopping thread

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby SteveW » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:16 pm

From what I can see pretty much every club at these low levels is living hand to mouth and on the verge of going out of business so obviously they aren't making a lot of money at these kind of prices. It would be interesting to see exactly what kind of non-staff costs they have in keeping the ground going. Also the crowds are tiny. 10,000 paying £10 is obviously a lot better than 50 paying £10. This latter factor is probably the biggest one. They have a tiny base to get enough money from to keep the club going - so they need to get a fair amount from each to make anything. There's also the '£5 isn't much' factor so it's unlikely that teams charging for entry are going to go much below that if at all.
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby paquebot » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:10 am

eujin wrote:So is the difference with the MLS just largely the revenue from TV money?


Any significance to the single-entity nature of the MLS with its designated players, transfer allocation money, and rules on how transfer funds have to be used by the recipient club?
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:57 am

paquebot wrote:
eujin wrote:So is the difference with the MLS just largely the revenue from TV money?


Any significance to the single-entity nature of the MLS with its designated players, transfer allocation money, and rules on how transfer funds have to be used by the recipient club?

I think my question is, whether MLS can fund a professional football league with non-league ticket prices, largely because of the revenue from TV? Or are there other significant revenue streams and cost savings?

20,000 people paying the equivalent of £10 per match in the MLS versus 20,000 people paying £25 at Bradford City in English tier three. That's £300,000 extra per match for the English side. Where does it go? How do MLS teams make it up? Is it all going into higher salaries in English tier three football? With a squad roughly the same size as the number of home matches, does it mean that players in the English third tier are getting paid on average £300,000 more per year than MLS players?

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby SteveW » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:05 am

MLS takes in less revenue than the J-League but more than League One (which also has more teams).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_p ... by_revenue

Average player salary in MLS is $300k+, in League One it's £70k.
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:58 am

That's interesting about the salaries. Punters are paying much less, but players are earning much more. For some reason we have MLS on the TV in Germany with commentary in German, so maybe the MLS is a special case. Even the domestic TV market is vast in the US.

Somehow League One clubs are making less revenue per club than 3.Liga teams in Germany, despite 3. Liga tickets costing much less, attendances being roughly the same and no real bumper TV deal as far as I'm aware.

I think percentage of revenue from gate receipts would be a telling statistic.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:11 am

eujin wrote:This is rather heretical, but perhaps the time has come to consider ending promotion and relegation at some point of the English pyramid?


I reckon some sort of "financial fair play" system would make more sense. Spend only what you (genuinely) earn. If this brief article is to be believed, the gap in spending between clubs at the same level can be massive.

One problem with shutting down pro/rel is that strong clubs will dominate the leagues. For example, Cornish club Bodmin Town wins the South West Peninsula League Premier Division (L10) almost every season, yet refuse promotion. I used to be surprised when I saw them beat L8 and even L7 sides in the early rounds of the FA Cup, but soon realized that they are essentially a strong L8 club playing in a L10 league.

Similar problem in the Northern League, in which the proximity to opponents and "tradition" means that many clubs refuse promotion.

If clubs can and want to go up, I don't think their path should be blocked. Otherwise, every league will end up like the South West Peninsula and Northern leagues.

A salary cap and reasonable squad limits could also help, as Stuart Fuller has argued.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:18 am

eujin wrote:
paquebot wrote:
eujin wrote:So is the difference with the MLS just largely the revenue from TV money?


Any significance to the single-entity nature of the MLS with its designated players, transfer allocation money, and rules on how transfer funds have to be used by the recipient club?

I think my question is, whether MLS can fund a professional football league with non-league ticket prices, largely because of the revenue from TV? Or are there other significant revenue streams and cost savings?


In its early days, MLS was heavily dependent on sugar-daddies to launch the league and keep it going.

Also of interest: Major League Soccer owns Soccer United Marketing, which does things like organise games for the USMNT as well as international glamour friendlies in the USA each summer. Apparently SUM pumps a fair amount of money into MLS, so that likely helps stave off the vultures.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Rothesay Saint » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:26 am

SteveW wrote:MLS takes in less revenue than the J-League but more than League One (which also has more teams).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_p ... by_revenue

Average player salary in MLS is $300k+, in League One it's £70k.


I guess MLS makes money on their superstars helping sell sponsorship?

300k must be mean average rather than median average I'd guess. What would the average be for non-designated players in MLS?
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:31 am

SteveW wrote:Average player salary in MLS is $300k+...


I'm going slightly off tangent here... but while MLS has a decent level of overall payroll, the bulk of the money is finding its way into the hands of relatively few players.

While the average player salary is $316k, a more telling statistic is the median salary: just $117k. The use of highly-paid "designated players" skews the average figure significantly.

The current MLS "minimum wage" is just $60k, or £46k. Not a lot of money for a top-flight footballer.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby SteveW » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:33 pm

MLS salary info is all published I believe so it should be possible to do the sums. In terms of 'what are they earning what are they spending' the mean is the right number but as pointed out, yes, there are some hefty contracts skewing those numbers.

MLS players are paid by the League rather than the clubs I believe. Except the designated players where some is charged to the league and the rest of the bill has to be footed by the owners and doesn't count to their salary cap.

Strange system all in.
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:18 am

MipoFanatic wrote:I reckon some sort of "financial fair play" system would make more sense. Spend only what you (genuinely) earn.

I don't know how it would pan out in Cornwall, but the problem with "financial fair play" is that it tends to solidify the status quo. The bigger clubs win the most matches, so they get the most fans and sponsors, and so generate the most revenue, and so can buy the best players, and so they win the most matches. Over time it becomes harder and harder to break the cycle.

I think what we all want is wide open tournaments with reasonable ticket prices. If the Premiership clubs can be persuaded to loan out all their academy players (and pay their wages) then the smaller clubs no longer need to worry about player salaries and can take enough money at the gate to pay for the lawn mower and someone to paint the lines. The lower league clubs wouldn't be able to fund themselves with transfer fees quite as much, but maybe they wouldn't need to if they weren't gambling on the big time. Nobody should be making 80 grand a year for playing non-league football, it's mad.

What I'm describing is the MLB farm system, isn't it? Damn. :smt086

Nevermind, whatever the reason for the high ticket prices in the UK, just doing what almost every other country in Europe does would be enough to fix it. Maybe it's time for the EPL to have its very own Brexit?

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:49 am

eujin wrote:
MipoFanatic wrote:I reckon some sort of "financial fair play" system would make more sense. Spend only what you (genuinely) earn.

I don't know how it would pan out in Cornwall, but the problem with "financial fair play" is that it tends to solidify the status quo. The bigger clubs win the most matches, so they get the most fans and sponsors, and so generate the most revenue, and so can buy the best players, and so they win the most matches. Over time it becomes harder and harder to break the cycle.


I've heard this argument before, but I'm not sure I agree.

Financial fair play ensures that clubs can't use non-"earned" revenues. Is that really a bad thing? It ensures financial stability.

It doesn't prevent clubs from winning on the pitch, gradually moving up the pyramid and consolidating their "organic" growth over time. What it does do is prevent Russian oligarchs or Middle East oil barons from throwing stupid money at a club that then spends hordes of cash on mercenary players.

These days, most clubs incorrectly assume that having a sugar daddy is the only way to up go. To that I say: bollocks.

Having financial fair play would mean that clubs who believe in sustainable growth win promotions, rather than those who affiliate themselves with someone chucking money around.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:46 pm

MipoFanatic wrote:Financial fair play ensures that clubs can't use non-"earned" revenues. Is that really a bad thing? It ensures financial stability.

It depends how it's implemented doesn't it? It's no real surprise that the three biggest clubs in Britain by revenue potential, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, are all owned by US corporations. It's also no surprise that these three are amongst the most vociferous in lobbying for financial fair play. The ones who are getting hit with fines over FFP, the Bournemouths, the QPRs and the Nottingham Forests, are the outsiders trying to stay in touch. As I've said elsewhere, I think it's healthy to have different teams challenging for honours and what Leicester did last year. It's great to have Welsh teams in the premiership, Bournemouth coming through and Manchester City breaking the stranglehold in Manchester. This is something we want (I do at least).

I'm so sick of Bayern winning the German title by March every year, hoovering up all the best players, dominating the media and having fans everywhere. Last year even the second placed team Dortmund were in a league of their own, miles behind the top team but miles ahead of third. The third placed team were closer to getting relegated than winning the title. I'm happy that for the first time since I moved here we now have a team from former East Germany in the Bundesliga and that the giant World Cup stadium in Leipzig is now getting used properly. This is only really possible because Red Bull have sunk vast amounts of non-earned revenue into the club. I don't really have a problem with it. I agree that in principle FPP doesn't stop teams from working their way up gradually. But people, good people, have been trying to build up carefully in Eastern Germany for decades and have had little success for a variety of reasons; the players move away, the fans lose interest, local sponsors don't have the financial resources, the gap gets continually bigger.

In an ideal world where everyone lived in the same sized market, TV money wasn't a big deal and people in Asia supported their local teams then it could work. Maybe non-league football is a better approximation to that than the EPL. But unless you address all the reasons for the excess and imbalances it will just support the big boys. The way the EPL currently implements it only really benefits the ones most responsible for the global branding and high tickets prices; Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Even at the non-league level, I don't understand how a rule that encourages clubs to maximise earned revenue will help to bring down ticket prices.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby SteveW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:22 pm

FFP doesn't really do much to stop the throwing money at things problem because an oil oligarch can just 'sponsor' the team or buy the stadium naming rights or whatever. I guess all it really tries to stop are clubs running up bank debts to fund success and then going out of business.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:43 am

So we want an end to silly money in English football, yet we want to allow the smaller giants to be able to spend with impunity, which causes a financial ripple effect that thunders all the way down into non-League? Doesn't that thinking contradict itself?

Look what's happened to clubs like Bolton and Bradford City that spent unwisely: disaster. Who suffers? The fans. "Ambition" has become an A-word in English football.

As for sponsoring one's own club to avoid FFP restrictions: surely the rules could be tightened?


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