Away from the football, there?s been interesting debate about ownership, new grounds etc. A couple of years ago, I was doing a bit of research when I happened across income stats for clubs in the major leagues in Europe, and it got me thinking about how this applies to Everton, and what it means for the future.
First off, I need to point out this is just about income. How the club spends its money on transfers, wages and other operating costs is another debate. The fact that some of this income is already borrowed against is also not relevant here. There are three broad categories for income:
- Matchday (includes season tickets, match tickets, corporate hospitality, catering, programmes etc)
- Broadcast (includes all money paid by the EPL for domestic, overseas TV rights, and live game fees and final place prize money)
- Commercial (includes all advertising, sponsorship, merchandising and general licensing amongst other things)
Looking at broadcast, I?ve written before about the distribution of EPL TV money, and it?s my belief it is the fairest across Europe. Last season, the team at the top of the TV money league (Man Utd) earned 1.54 times what the team at the bottom of the money league (Blackpool) earned. In Europe, the nearest fair league is the Bundesliga (2:1) whereas in Spain it?s 12.5:1. In this last example, clubs negotiate their own deals, and basically Real and Barca use a company called MediaPro and get a load, and everyone else gets scrapped. You can be sure that the likes of Liverpool would love this, as one means of compensating for not being in CL by tapping their overseas market for more cash. They already made noises about changing the overseas portion payment structure, and were loudly shouted down by everyone (including Man Utd!)
The next package of TV deals for 2013-14 is out for tender now, and I?d expect the figures to be broadly similar, but the pot increasing slightly. I also expect the EPL to use the same distribution formula so 50% to clubs, 25% based on live UK appearances, 25% in league placement. The increase in live games shown should lead to an increase in the minimum guarantee of appearances (currently 10) if they are to maintain this equitable distribution, but they really couldn?t increase much beyond 1 extra game!
We have no real control over this, other than to keep voting for the status quo in terms of the overall deal, and keep the league placements high. Last season we were only on 13 times, Man U were twice that ? but the new kids on the block, City, were on 24 times.
We?ve talked a lot about attendances, why they?re declining etc, and this year, for the first time in a while, there was an increase in early bird season tickets for the 2012-13 season. It?s a tough call but, depending on what the economists at EFC reckon, the elasticity of demand model predicts that a small increase in season tickets will lead to a certain reduction but overall revenue will be broadly the same, if not up slightly. That?s the theory.
Whilst it?s normal to do promotions for the early rounds of the cups etc, Everton have been doing a lot more with league games. Before Christmas, they offered purchasers of tickets for the Norwich game a Swansea ticket at half price (it was a midweek game just before Christmas, so office party, last minute shopping territory). I am not sure what other promotions (other than kids tickets) they?ve offered during the season, but it suggests to me that they?re aware of the discretionary fan, but they need to guard against doing this too much or the 'value for money' argument for the season ticket is eroded (especially when balanced against the finance benefit of collecting funds up front).
In terms of corporate hospitality, it?s been years since I experienced it, but I think the main problem is a lack of space for facilities. The number of boxes is small (8?) and they currently go for £45k a season. Outside of that are various lounge facilities that offer varying degrees of pre-match Food & Beverage. The fact that houses on Goodison Road are being rented and used as matchday lounges (including for Anfield) suggests this is an area that Everton are missing out on, and there?s nothing that they can do.
In-stadium refreshments are doubly difficult at Goodison due to the limited circulation areas, and as a revenue stream are insignificant anyway.
Recent years has seen the range and value of sponsorships and other commercial involvement increase substantially. I believe in large part this is down to the increase in the overseas broadcast of the league. I had the figures for sponsor values for last season, and it was telling that the majority of the teams are sponsored by overseas brands (even more so this season). The only major British firm sponsoring is Standard Chartered, and their main area of business is in the Middle East and Asia. The tie-in between sponsor value and broadcast is apparent when one considers that part of the value the clubs offer is in brand exposure, and this is backed up by media value reports from live games that break down in $ value how much the media value is worth. The company that does this has a proprietary system for calculating this, using discounted advertising rates, and is accepted industry-wide.
For Everton, I?m not sure how much the deal with Thai Beverage is worth. Last published figures put it around £2.8m per annum, but others have claimed there?ve been extensions etc and it?s now worth around £4m pa. Notwithstanding the long relationship with them, there needs to be a rethinking of this. The likes of Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea now command £20m per annum from the club sponsor. Man U now get £4m pa from DHL just to sponsor their training kit. Whilst I?m not comparing Everton with any of them, the fact that we have now been overtaken by the likes of WBA and Villa (significantly) suggests we are under-performing. Uefa can investigate Etihad?s £40m shirt/stadium naming rights pa deal all they like, they?ll struggle to rule it as ?un-commercial? given their ludicrous pricing for Champions League sponsors. Arsenal are now glad that their Emirates deal is into the latter stages (although at the time it broke new ground).
In other leagues, the stand out differences are found in the Bundesliga. I?d love to know how this evolved, but their whole business model seems to be commercial-led. They don?t get the same money for broadcasting, and they are able to keep matchday tickets in the £10-15 region.
I?ve said for a long time that Everton are too dependent on broadcast revenue as a proportion of total turnover. If you look back over the club accounts down the years, I?m sure the majority of any increase in revenue (net of player trading) is down to increases in this area. Now I?m not saying this isn?t true for a lot of clubs, and I?m not saying it?s a bad thing; I?m questioning whether we are under-performing in other areas. I don?t have any fears for the long-term future from this (in the sense I don?t think that the pay-TV market is going to collapse... obviously relegation would be different!)
Clearly Everton will point to the Stadium for the lack of traction on matchday and commercial fronts, and they are largely right. Goodison during its evolution was pioneering in many ways, but there has been no significant investment since before the advent of the Premier League. A new or redeveloped stadium would have to look very different (at least under the skin) to be able to meet the many needs and be fit for the next 100 years. A new stadium would allow the club to increase its yield per customer (and this needn?t mean an increase in season ticket/matchday pricing); rather they would be able to offer a far more differentiated corporate hospitality product, to a far greater number of clients. The space/facility needs of the press (including international), TV, police, medical, officials and players is vastly different.
I know for many that the EPL represents all that is wrong with football today and, in a lot of instances, I would agree. However, we are where we are ? trying to compete in a league that has long left the Everton tradition and values behind ? so what can be done? I agree with the Board of Directors that the stadium question is key. I just don?t agree that a new stadium has to be led by a retail partner. I also think that our poor performance in commercial and matchday revenue will only begin to be addressed with a new stadium. That?s why I think new owners ? not investors ? should be a priority. Right now, this poor performance is a good thing in being able to sell the club. It is these opportunities to increase football and non-football revenues over the long-term that will attract buyers. A pre-pack stadium in an out-of-town retail park would scare them off almost as quickly as Bill?s alleged asking price.
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399 Posted 07/05/2012 at 17:23:03
402 Posted 07/05/2012 at 16:50:39
If only any of us could believe Bill and his board regarding being for sale. They have told so many stories that we really do not know where the truth lies anymore. Confidence in our board is evepourating every year, it is causing so much debate and has the potential to split the fan base.
All we as fans can do is hope that something positive happens in the near future so that we can compete at the top end of the league. Most of us would be happy with £20m injected into the playing staff, not massive in todays terms, but enormous in Everton terms.
407 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:04:19
Big crowds generate big revenues but the problem with Everton is as follows: We aint based in London, we have the poorest fans, we have the oldest fans, the team is usually poor to watch, and we are in the shadow of three reasonably successful clubs now unfortunately. You can have all the shiny seats you want but if the product is poor no one will turn up. Also, you can have all the corporate boxes you want but unless its 'cool' to support or be associated with Everton then you aint going to fill them up.
409 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:21:28
Juventus were relegated and stripped of their leagues titles for fixing matches. Nothing to do with empty stadiums.
410 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:24:43
I could use other examples like Middlesbro, Coventry, Darlington in the UK but Juventus sounded more interesting. Apparently Inter Milan are strongly thinking about buying their own place as well.
412 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:33:29
I dont think we will move, we had the chance in everyone's lifetime with the Kings Dock, and we totally screwed it up.
Re-develop Goodison one stand at a time is what I believe is the only option.
413 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:32:54
The barriers to shared stadia are huge. Liverpool are in debt, but are owned as part of a franchise portfolio who could probably raise the funding they need. Everton under current owners cannot, and that's why I've stated it has to be a choice for new owners to make. By EFCs own recent admission, we are dependent on an enabling partner (retail) to deliver a stadium, in other words no moolah, therefore what could we offer LFC in terms of a shared venue?
414 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:44:16
415 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:40:03
418 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:46:25
This financial year they will surpass that figure ? that's how far behind we are.
We have been mis-managed for 20 years now, and to think we were one of the "big five" who instigated the breakaway from the old First Division to the Premier League.
We have stood still, whilst every single club have improved facilities, revenue streams etc.
419 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:43:41
This leaves us either hoping for a fire sale along the lines of Rangers where debt is written off but with the associated risk to our major revenue stream, the TV money, or hoping the owners sell at a suitable discount to allow the investment.
420 Posted 07/05/2012 at 18:59:18
Jon #419 my whole point is about new owners having a clean slate. Only then can they fully work out what investment is required. All the stories about dodgy development deals tied in to sale of the club, roles for existing board members etc. does not bode well. The club could improve its commercial performance, but its limited due to the infrastructure. Matchday they're pretty screwed on, and any improvement in broadcast revenue would only come about by improvement on the pitch - marginal financial returns for what would be a large investment in the team.
Any new owners would need a separate investment plan for the team, and one for the infrastructure, and have 2 separate executive teams managing the budgets. I know some fans would rather everything went into the playing squad, but that in our situation would be short-termism.
After our recent game against Arsenal, I was talking with some of the execs from Arsenal in a lounge afterwards. They're so far ahead in terms of matchday revenue (forget that Wenger chooses not to spend it) it's got the rest of the top teams (other than Man U) trying to emulate them.
As others have said, we're stuck with our board as he's so far in shit there's no way out. I've already said on another thread I think we're anything from 12-24 months from administration, possibly closer.
421 Posted 07/05/2012 at 19:10:07
425 Posted 07/05/2012 at 19:29:06
Where did you find that out about West Brom getting more money in sponsorship than Everton because if that is true it is appalling.
They are a yo-yo club that has only been in the league for two seasons yet they earn more than an established top 8 club who are ever presents.
How on fucking earth has this happened?
429 Posted 07/05/2012 at 19:44:27
Both went to Asian sponsors (although I think WBA's sponsor started life in Cuba years ago) and although they don't advertise the deal values, I've heard that WBA's went for a bit more than our last-reported £2.7m per annum, and Villa's was about £5m.
Villa's was a bit galling as I'm sure their spec specifically ruled out gambling (for ethics reasons, rather than existing tie-ins) but I guess money talks!
Generally I don't like sponsor deals with web-based companies, as whether their gaming, FX, or money lenders, they're generally just trying to get their URL known, and won't stick around for the long haul. I do give Everton credit for their relationship with Thai Beverage - a company I would always be happy to work with, again based on experience (I'll even drink their beer if I'm pissed enough).
But I do wonder whether we got lucky with Chang, in the sense that the only reason they came to us was to settle a score with Carlsberg.
431 Posted 07/05/2012 at 19:25:05
The Granchester family didnt want the same involvement as Sir John had, and were happy to sell his shares to Peter Johnson. He did very little in restructuring the club, and as a shrewd business man actually made a profit out of Everton.
I think our problems were here long before Kenwright took over. Sadly we are were we are and I sadly cant see a way out. Yes in the short term we can continue to sell our best players to help us stay afloat. But we will either go into administration or get relegated.
I fear that if that happened I think it might be a long wait before we got back playing in the Premiership.
447 Posted 07/05/2012 at 21:16:11
448 Posted 07/05/2012 at 21:16:11
463 Posted 07/05/2012 at 22:12:09
475 Posted 07/05/2012 at 22:25:40
We're probably among the 10 least attractive investments in the league and anyone who thinks we can trade on our history is sorely mistaken.. Football has a very short memory and our only redeeming feature is that we remain a part of the Premier
We're no more interesting to investors than Swansea or West Brom in terms of shirts or signs.. Seems to me though that these shirt deals are only going one way so perhaps we would be better off only tendering short term contracts.
478 Posted 07/05/2012 at 23:28:31
I for one would back this MO if it meant losing some high earners off the wage bill for a few years to raise the cash.. The fans we'd lose from being down the bottom wouldn't be missed in a smaller capacity ground and as long as we didn't get relegated, in 5 years we'd be able to get back on with building a team.
Unfortunately I suspect Bill's five year plan consists of cross fingers and toes and pray to the east.
483 Posted 08/05/2012 at 00:20:10
495 Posted 08/05/2012 at 02:39:16
I have a question about the stadium naming rights that has been bugging me for a while. City I believe lease the stadium, they do not own it like Arsenal and Newcastle own theirs. I am in no way a business man so bear with me on this.
If the stadium is owned by the city of Manchester then surely the naming rights for said stadium belong to it, the city of Manchester, not Manchester City. The city should be receiving naming rights money for this not the club.
There is probably something in the lease agreement to cover this but it something that has been laying dormant in the back of my mind until now.
502 Posted 08/05/2012 at 04:57:24
Now if only we had owners with vision.
503 Posted 08/05/2012 at 05:00:46
There was a good article / discussion on TW a few months ago on the comparison of Johnson and Kenwright. A search might reveal it (but most likely not as the search function is terrible)
505 Posted 08/05/2012 at 05:27:27
Re the Search Engine, I think I know what you mean. We should have some search controls that list hits by date, etc. And it's a small thing, I know, but I do like the title links to be in blue and not black.
But I did enter "Kenwright Johnson profit" and this was near the top (just below the horrible 'sponsored links'):
Johnson vs Kenwright ? is that the one? Perhaps a little older than you thought... over a year ago! My, how time flies.
I see we have another problem with excess lots of ??? in the text... Hmmm, some code translation problem from the old database... Lyndon!!!
514 Posted 08/05/2012 at 06:48:37
One problem with the search is that it doesn't give the results chronologically and old posts are mixed with new ones.
553 Posted 08/05/2012 at 10:38:35
Just a couple of points
Broadcasting and the EPL - at the moment the EPL is sitting on a time bomb and that time bomb is the method of how broadcasting revenue is earned and distributed. It's unlikely that the current model is sustainable for two main reasons
1. The refinement of existing technology and development of 'new' methods of delivery and consumption - which will eventually make the current 'packaged' model of buying and selling the broadcasting of the EPL ancient history. I'm becoming convinced that we're on the brink of a paradigm shift moment that we've not seen in English Football since the formation of the Premier League in terms of revenue distribution and this change will be technology led.
2. Probable changes in the structure of existing competitions to reflect the new broadcasting model; a smaller EPL? An exclusive version of the Champions League?
Obviously, you can't predict with accuracy the nature of the changes to football and media consumption- but there is one thing I'm quite certain of - the current packaged deal model will change and change for the benefit of the bigger clubs and the long term detriment of those who are left behind - and that includes Everton.
589 Posted 08/05/2012 at 15:26:28
A high net worth individual will have greater access to credit than Bill is being afforded now that Green is no longer guarantor.
Contrary to club spin we have a business focused council that would love to support the club in achieving a new build stadia and all the benefits that are brought with it.
Getting a stadium built will not cost the ridiculous amounts often bandied about either.
Looking across Europe at the cost associated with new build stadia we could get a ground fit for purpose over the next 50 years at £150-200m. What we would recoup back in sponsors, advertising and everything else that's associated with this would make this worthwhile whyen you consider how far behind we are now.
One thing that's certain is this will never happen when the current owners value the business anything much over the debts.
599 Posted 08/05/2012 at 16:45:31
Given that the EPL is constituted by the participating clubs, and all votes are equal, the current distribution deal suits the smaller clubs due to its inherent equitable split. If they were to vote for going down the IPTV route, or individual club TV, 3/4 of the clubs would lose out to the other 5.
The technology changes may or may not lead to changes down the line, but I think it's further away than most think. A bit like 3D TV in the home - nice idea, but it'll never take off.
For clubs like Everton that are so heavily dependent on TV broadcasting, as I said in the original piece, the scenario you paint really doesn't bear thinking about. You'd have a smaller Premier League all right. It'd be 6 teams.
605 Posted 08/05/2012 at 17:04:59
Re copyright, this is true. It's noticeable that the UK government are getting twitchy about the net and the potential (actuality) of mass copyright infringement - the recent moves against Pirate Bay and the mooted pressure on the ISPs to have an 'opt in' for reception of pornography are two examples of government attempting to flex control muscles- I don't believe for one moment that the government has suddenly found the internet - I do believe they are being 'leaned' on by powerful players in the broadcasting market. I read a survey recently which suggested that the ratio between football consumed legally and consumed through illegal methods is getting smaller year by year.
Clubs are aware of the huge revenue potential that's currently trickling away through illegal access to their product and with this trickle possibly to become a torrent due to vastly improved broadband speeds and the potential for broadcast quality images on a PC/MAC near you, it's only a matter of time before the more savvy/greedy try to tap into this market with legal products available at a competitive price.
Now, I'm not suggesting that this will happen tomorrow but probably sooner than we think. I am suggesting that you can bet that when it happens, it will be the 'Sky 4' plus who'll be the forefront as drivers for change...
618 Posted 08/05/2012 at 19:43:23
Like most people, this is a problem that affects us from buying into the club in any small way (con-man apathy) as there seems to be no problem in certain people linked with the club drawing a really good wage and giving nothing in return. This, accompanied by a whole other political scenario: I know people want to believe in Everton but it is dying... and the safe bet ? sitting on money, procrastinating; people involved are really NOT helping!
IF that changes, I believe the crowds will return, plus all the financial demographics the likes of Mark Traynor has outlined here.
[Ed Note: Jem, I tried punctuating this to bring out the meaning ? particular the end of the middle paragraph, but I'm not sure I got it right. What did you mean exactly? Thanks. ]
626 Posted 08/05/2012 at 20:43:06
I believe the theory that if you look at a sequence of events in reverse it makes no sense especially when it has dragged out over, say thirty something years or a period of time that deferr's the nature of the result, I know it sounds Conspiritorial but I am finding it hard to accept the outcome.
While I am not even in a position to pay to go to most games I still feel for the club
and would love it's fortunes to change in some way.
thanks for editing for me I know my grammar isn't up to much.
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