Premier League Clubs not monetising empty seats

Premier League football clubs are missing out on millions of pounds in lost home game revenue by failing to maximize match day sales, according to the latest analysis by BDRC Continental’s Sports and Sponsorship Insight team.

Seats, plus the resulting cross-selling opportunities from food, beverages and programmes, are reportedly costing clubs up to £7 million per year.

Already struggling this season in the Barclays Premier League, BDRC Continental estimates that Aston Villa are missing out on £366,621 every home game, more than any club in the competition, with the missed opportunities set to cost the club just shy of £7 million this year.

Sunderland AFC follows just behind, scoring a missed revenue opportunity of over £6.5 million per year, while Wigan Athletic and Everton could pocket £4.2 million and £3.1 million per season respectively, if every seat was sold.

Newcastle, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion also miss out on valuable revenues to the tune of £2.3 million, £2 million and £1.8 million respectively. 

While the top seven register significant lost revenue opportunities, three further clubs QPR, West Ham and Manchester City also notch up more than £1 million per season, while the rest manage to restrict their lost revenue to under the million mark. 

However, despite league leaders Manchester City missing out on up to £1 million a year, they still fill on average 97.7% of the 48,000 capacity Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic only use 74.4% of their 25,138 seats.

Swansea City best avoid missed revenue, losing just £5,264 per match – or a shade over £100,000 per year – thanks to a 99% seat utilisation.

Mark Long, director of sports & sponsorship at BDRC Continental, said: ‘Since the Premier League announced its new financial controls, top-flight teams need to address how they can turn this lost opportunity into valuable income. Under the new regime kicking off with the 2013/2014 season, any increase in match day revenue can help fund players so empty seats in the ground will have a direct impact on the quality of a club’s squad on the pitch.’

‘But it’s not just about slashing ticket prices to get supporters into the stadium; there is a balance to be achieved between attracting new fans and keeping loyal season ticket holders happy. And don’t forget the need to maximise on-site sales in the various retail outlets once fans are through the turnstiles. No two clubs are the same, however, so it’s never a ‘one size fits all’ solution. But through careful research and data analysis clubs can still move forward and optimise their fanbase to fill seats and impact the bottom line.’

The figures have been calculated based on the mean ticket price of category B seats. 

 

 

 Seats  used

 Ground  capacity

 Empty  seats  

 Mean  ticket  Price

 

Missed  rev per  match

Missed revenue per season

 

Aston Villa

80.1%

 42,551

8,467  

35.00

 366,621 

£6,965,800

 

Sunderland

81.9%

 

 49,000

 

8,829  

 

31.00 

 

344,331

 

£6,542,289

Wigan

74.4%

 

 25,138

 

6,479

 

27.00

 

220,933

 

£4,197,744

Everton

91.2%

 

 40,394

 

3,520

 

38.50

 

163,328

 

£3,103,232

Newcastle

94.7%

 

 52,387

 

2,730

 

36.00

 

120,120

 

£2,282,280

Southampton

92.7%

 

 32,689

 

2,193

 

39.50

104,606

 

£1,987,515

WBA

89.7%

 

 28,003

 

2,923

 

25.00

96,751

 

£1,838,274

QPR

93.2%

 

 19,148

 

1,297

 

47.50

71,983

 

£1,367,686

West Ham

97.1% 

35,647

 

1,046

 

49.00

 

60,145

 

£1,142,755

Manchester City

97.7%

 48,000

 

1,095

 

43.00

56,940

 

£1,081,860

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Premier League Clubs Agree Spending Controls

The Premier League has announced that clubs will be dealt a points deduction if they break new spending regulations, similar to the Financial Fair Play controls proposed by UEFA.

As part of the ‘break even’ model, every Premier League club will not be allowed to make a loss of more than £105m over the next three seasons. Clubs must also limit their spending on player wage bills from the beginning of next seasons, however costs on stadia and academies will be exempt from the model.

The new spending controls, which are aimed to ensure the sustainability of clubs, are less stringent than the financial regulations recommended UEFA, which states that clubs may only make a total loss of up to £38m.

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore commented: ‘If people break the £105m we will look for the top-end ultimate sanction range – a points deduction. As with all things in our rulebook, you will be subject to a disciplinary commission. Normally we stay silent on sanctions as the commission has a free range but clearly if there is a material breach of that rule we will be asking the commission to consider top-end sanctions.’

According to the most recent financial reports of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, all three clubs made losses of more than £105m over the last three years. 13 Premier League clubs voted in favour of the new spending controls, while six voted against and Reading abstained.

Scudamore added: ‘A new owner can still invest a decent amount of money to improve their club but they are not going to be throwing hundreds and hundreds of millions [of pounds] in a very short period of time. While it has worked for a couple of clubs in the last 10 years, if that’s going to be done in the future it’s going to have to be over a slightly longer term without the huge losses being made. I think at £105m you can still build a very decent club with substantial owner funding but you have to do it over time, not in a season.’