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  • Mitre May 17 (3)

Scottish Clubs face financial pressure

Scottish football clubs are being forced to contend with decreased revenue across the board, including broadcasting rights, merchandise, catering, and corporate hospitality.

As if the repercussions of diminished broadcasting income weren’t enough for clubs to handle, the effects of a spiralling economy have now found their way to supporters. Accounting and business advisory firm PKF reports that fans are investing less money in the sport north of the Border, as reiterated by The Scotsman. According to the firm’s annual survey, football is as likely to suffer the effects of economic downturn as any other business. 

Revenue from match and season tickets, merchandise, corporate hospitality and sponsorship deals fell in 2008-09, with no expectations that the numbers will improve throughout the current season.
 
While ticket sales account for a significant portion of revenue, clubs are still working to make adjustments following the failed deal with broadcaster Setanta. 

More than 80 percent of Scottish Premier League (SPL) reported that television and radio contracts accounted for the largest increase in revenue, while 20 percent experienced no advancement.
 
With a variety of avenues showing decreased revenue, Scottish football clubs may be in for a rough season. Sixty percent of SPL clubs noted a drop in ticket sales under five percent and merchandising up to 20 percent. An additional 20 percent announced a merchandising decrease of more than 20 percent.
 
According to PKF partner Charles Barnett, the figures demonstrate the effects of the economy on Scottish football. He went on to note that supporters are watching their spending and sponsorship sources have ‘dried up’, leaving the clubs in a tight position.

Barnett singled out television revenue as the ‘biggest financial concern’ for Scottish clubs, followed closely behind by the cost of relegation, player salaries, and ticket pricing.

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