Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

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Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby scottish » Tue May 15, 2012 10:47 am

I'm trying to think dispassionately here and setting aside the rights and wrongs of the future of Rangers in or out of the SPL to concentrate purely on the effect on crowds. It has been claimed, usually by the Traynors, Chicos and 'Scoop' Jacksons of this world that the effect on crowds would be disastrous. Would they?

Have a look at these two sets of figures I have compiled from this season's attendances. The first one compares the average attendance against Rangers (bear in mind some teams have played them once and others twice) compared to the average with both OF stripped out. The figures are the amounts by which the crowd goes up when Rangers are in town. On the face of it it looks frightening if the Ibrox club are lost from the SPL.

Aberdeen + 6996
Kilmarnock + 4959
Motherwell + 4603
Dunfermline + 3396
Dundee United + 2983
St Johnstone + 2973
Inverness CT + 2960
St Mirren + 2550
Hearts + 1971
Hibernian + 1871

But now look at the second set of figures. These are the number of supporters that would be lost once the Rangers figures are spread over the season. Suddenly a Rangers-less future isn't as scary after all.

Aberdeen - 368
Kilmarnock - 261
Motherwell - 242
Dunfermline - 179
Dundee United - 157
St Johnstone - 156
Inverness CT - 156
St Mirren - 134
Hearts - 104
Hibernian - 98

Some observations: the basic scenario hasn't changed since I first ran this exercise a decade ago. Aberdeen lose the most in total but Kilmarnock and Motherwell lose most proportionately. This is down to a larger capacity in the first instance and ease of travel in the latter. Had St Mirren still been in possession of a bigger ground they would be in the same situation as Killie and 'Well. The comparatively low figures for the Edinburgh pair are based on their relatively high number of season ticket holders.

Now, while exercises such as this can't account for any loss of sponsorship, TV rights etc, they do show quite plainly that losing Rangers from the SPL would be far from the economic disaster many portray it as. Only one 'Gang of Ten' club needs to entice more than 300 fans through the gates on a regular basis to offset the loss from Rangers. Most clubs have lost more fans on average in the past few seasons than the numbers here and the doors have yet to be locked on any stadium. Additionally, visits from the OF bring costs not associated with other clubs in terms of police and stewarding, not to mention repair work on those odd occasions when the result is not to their pleasing.

Finally, there is one club that stands to lose more fans than any other. Celtic drop by 8,553 when comparing Rangers visits to other clubs and they would need 450 more per game to recover their losses. Again, they have lost far more than that in recent seasons.

The conclusion is that as far as attendances are concerned at any rate, the loss of Rangers to the SPL would be no great burden.
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby primrose » Tue May 15, 2012 2:16 pm

Great piece of work there.

You would have thought that the main stream media would have carried out such an excercise ages ago.
Or perhaps it doesnt fit with the agenda of protecting Rangers SPL status for the " good of the game". After all we dont want to alienate the Rangers readership from the tabloids do we?

And shouldnt Chick Young etc be all over this and blowing the myth of Rangers importance to the other clubs? Or perhaps not, the man who wanted HMFC docked 8 points for late wages now does a U turn on sanctions against Rangers as they are too severe, too severe for cheating for years and years and lording it over the rest of the so called "diddy teams". And lets see if any of this is picked up and ran by the main tabloids, but again I wont hold my breath.

The standard or journalism and the lack of understanding of this whole thing has been astounding, the first 2 weeks of it they all referred to administration as liquidation and even now they dont know what liquidation actually means.

Scottish football, ran by the old firm for the old firm. Need proof? Refer to the 11-1 vote!
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby scottish » Tue May 15, 2012 4:42 pm

Thank you very much and welcome to the forum. If I could put it another way, these are the average crowds each club would need to get - not including Celtic or home matches against Celtic- to make up the Rangers deficit.

13302 Hearts
9607 Hibernian
8840 Aberdeen
6984 Dundee United
5217 Motherwell
4808 Kilmarnock
4304 Dunfermline
4295 St Mirren
3716 Inverness CT
3642 St Johnstone

These are far from unobtainable targets. In fact of the nine clubs in the ‘Gang of Ten’ that were in the SPL in 2010-11, four of them - Hearts, Hibs, Inverness, Killie - all exceeded those figures. Four more - Aberdeen, Dundee United, St Johnstone, St Mirren - exceeded them in 2009-10. Dunfermline exceeded them the last time they played in the SPL (2006-07) before this season. Motherwell did so last in 2007-08 (in Celtic’s case they would need to return to 2008-09 levels).

In other words five of the ten met or bettered the target last season before this one (counting 2006-07 as the Pars last SPL season), four did so two seasons ago and one four years ago. Drawing just those modest few hundred of their own supporters back to every match would wipe out any financial advantage brought through the turnstiles by Rangers.

An added bonus is that increased competition is likely to bring greater numbers of travelling fans. 178 accompanied Aberdeen to Rugby Park recently, a derisory number.

Of course the TOTAL numbers would drop. That’s down to our old friend, lies, damned lies and statistics. Rangers drew 880,000 to Ibrox this season. The best supported replacement - Dundee - wouldn’t draw more than 150,000 at the absolute maximum so there would be a big overall fall, perhaps as many as 750,000. But these would all be paying customers at Ibrox. No other club would lose a penny in gate money from this and, presumably, those supporters would still be attending matches in the Third Division.

I mean, they don’t do walking away.
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby the hibLOG » Wed May 16, 2012 12:11 am

Excellent analysis. Just what the debate needs - we really need to get this out there into media la-la-land. You should send it to Alex Thomson and Glenn Gibbons at the very least since they are the most likely to use it.

I have pointed out elsewhere that every season one SPL club is deprived of all the Rangers gate money and TV money AND Celtic gate money too and they still manage to survive. It's whichever team is relegated. Have Hamilton gone bust? Or Falkirk? Did Dunfermline or Inverness go bust when they were relegated recently? No, they bounced back. Gretna went to the wall while they were enjoying full access to the riches on offer from Rangers and Sky because the backing that supported their insane overspending vanished overnight. Similarly Dundee and Livingston suffered administration because they were living so far beyond their means and had not planned to make cost cutting swiftly achievable. Any club that does that these days is idiotic and deserves what they get.

It would be useful to speculate on what the TV money adds to the equation too, and what a deal without Rangers might look like. The probability is that even if Sky decided to do walking away then ESPN or even the BBC or STV would step in to pick up a cut price deal which would likely provide a respectable income to most SPL clubs. The club that would stand to lose most from a revised deal would be Celtic, the club most able to withstand such a cut in income. This would be especially the case if any deal was cut in a more equitable fashion, with less of a jump in prize money going to first and second places. Somebody posted the TV incomes recently and it would be interesting to perhaps half the total on offer, redistribute it more fairly and see whether Dundee Utd's talk of 600k being cut from their budget would really stack up, especially if they were competing at the top of the table in a more meaningful competition.

The biggest threat to clubs' income is the desertion of fans who would no longer see any point in participating in a rigged competition, playing against cheats, which is what it would effectively be if a Rangers newco (or a convicted oldco) were waved back in to the SPL.
Last edited by the hibLOG on Wed May 16, 2012 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby scottish » Wed May 16, 2012 12:39 am

Absolutely right, Fraser, re the relegated teams and also those who went into administration whilst resident in the SPL land of milk and honey. I'd add Motherwell to the list as well.
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby bobby s » Wed May 16, 2012 7:13 am

That's great work David, and confirms what many have suspected for a long time.

I doubt you'll get yourself on the succulent lamb list though :shock:
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby scottish » Thu May 17, 2012 12:40 am

bobby s wrote:I doubt you'll get yourself on the succulent lamb list though :shock:


There was an article in, I think, Mundo Deportivo, a few weeks back which mentioned "cordero jugoso" which left the locals here somewhat bemused.
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby the hibLOG » Thu May 17, 2012 1:57 am

scottish wrote:
bobby s wrote:There was an article in, I think, Mundo Deportivo, a few weeks back which mentioned "cordero jugoso" which left the locals here somewhat bemused.


Surely not because they are more familiar with the mutton more usually served in a Scottish footballing context?
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby Snuff » Fri May 18, 2012 9:19 am

Anent this lamb or mutton debate - like HRH the Duke of Rothesay, i have long felt that mutton, properly cooked, is far tastier than lamb. Maybe that's why Charlie and I both like being around the Cumnock area - Perm any two from Talbot, Scumnock and the Glen and you generally get a dish which knocks the OF mince into a stale pie casing.

On which subject. Talbot play Pollok tomorrow; Pollock MUST win to avoid the Superleague Premier/First Division promotion-relegation play-offs. If Pollok win, Cumnock go into the play-offs.

Talbot cannot now win the league, they've got the Scottish Cup Final coming up on 27 May - if you are Tucker Sloan, what do you do about selection?

Do you pick a team to win the game, thereby keeping Cumnock up? Or, do you rest the big guns, give Pollok a chance and risk losing the Cumnock crowds next season, while giving the Scum a chance to growl and rant even more than usual?

Decisions, decisions.
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Re: Economic effects of Rangers in the SPL

Postby scottish » Sat May 19, 2012 11:20 am

Snuff wrote:like HRH the Duke of Rothesay, i have long felt that mutton, properly cooked, is far tastier than lamb.


People use the term LOL far too freely but in this instance I genuinely did LOL.
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