So. What happens next?

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puskas
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:38 pm

So. What happens next?

Post by puskas »

It would appear that we are not going to be allowed to watch Southport in the near future.

This will have financial consequences and the debate will start as to whether the clubs in the National League North can afford to operate on a behind closed doors basis, or indeed can they afford operate at all even without playing?

There are some facts, if the season begins clubs are committed to a few thousand pounds per week in wages as players are contracted to be paid. Plus there will be other matchday expenses, travel, maintenance and a whole host of costs involved in putting a team on a pitch. It doesn't take an accountant to work out that without income through the turnstile this will generate a huge financial loss.

There appears to be a rumour that the National League won't start if the season will be played behind closed doors. If it doesn't start surely clubs will still be legally committed to playing contracts? If so that will still be a drain on financial resources. Bearing this in mind furlough is scheduled to end by November, so isn't a viable option.

Before anyone thinks I am being critical of the club I am not. . I think the information from James via video and the club website has been excellent and very informative. But a bit of clarity on these points I am sure would put a lot of supporters minds at rest, because I am sure we are all worried about the future, even if that communication is only an opinion and the way the club sees things are going.

If the season doesn't take place, outgoings on wages are the big worry. Firstly could the FA be able to suspend players contracts? Perhaps retaining the registration with clubs (otherwise I am sure the wealthier clubs would "Cherry Pick" other clubs players). Maybe players could be allowed then to play at lower level NPL etc on a none contract or loan basis. Keeping the players match fit and bringing them some income via expenses. This would solve one financial aspect of the problem in taking away the clubs responsibility to pay wages. It would be an unprecedented action by the FA to suspend contracts (if they are legally allowed), but arguably we are living in an unprecedented time.

If the season does take place behind closed doors it creates a huge financial problem over costs, so the club do need to bring in as much income as possible to offset what I personally fear would still be a large loss.

Many people would still want to watch their teams but are denied that luxury. There is one obvious cure for this, video streaming the matches so you can log into your computer at 2-55pm and see the match. Clubs could actually charge for this and generate a source of income and if the clubs worked together this be done for away matches too (maybe organise across the league coverage). Season ticket holders have already paid for home games and if other supporters could pay on a match by match basis at turnstile prices, this potentially could bring in thousands and could certainly justify having a season ticket or membership.

Again video streaming I understand has it's problems. I have been told that clubs are not allowed to show games live at 3pm and are not allowed to show highlights for a number of days after a match. Is this correct? If so could the league or FA whoever has the power to change this rule, suspend the regulation, even the Conservatives have relaxed some things in these times.

Some of these ideas are probably a bit naive and maybe they have already been suggested or may already be in the process of being enacted, maybe they are not possible. That is what they are ideas and are a conversation starter because I am sure others out there will have ideas too. But at the end of the day, something has to be done or the consequences could be dire for football.
Redrobe fan
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:51 am

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Redrobe fan »

Stopping the football and rugby seasons would have huge political impact, so I suspect that the Government will distance itself with mere ‘advice’ and ambiguous messages. This will leave the sport to stumble along with small crowds and onerous ‘health measures’.

Of course what is needed from a public health perspective is total lockdown for a couple of weeks with full compliance, but the population is too weak and stupid to accept that.

There were hundreds of half-wits chanting ‘Freedom’ in Trafalgar Square at the weekend.
YTT
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:18 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by YTT »

Not sure Ifollow stacks up at our level. Most streaming to date has been done as a pass to season ticket holders and primarily so clubs don't have to reimburse season ticket money. It's been fraught with technical issues and frankly is evolving and not the best. And that's at levels above little old Southport.

Club can't be faulted as not of their making and they have planned for what they were told to expect. How can they communicate what they don't know? You know that the administration involved in the game has long being reactive so the formal announcements expected later today have only been formulated by the government and their advisors over the weekend.

They will have contractual obligations and in that respect it's no different than any other business and in fact if you read the BBC link in the other thread it leaves a £700 million black whole.

For me it will come down to two simple factors like lots of business and business owners face:

1) Are the authorities going to offer further financial support and assistance? That or wholesale redundancies and mass unemployment are inevitable in most sectors of business life.
2) Are the clubs or its owners pockets deep enough to fund the base costs through this period and secondly are they prepared to?

Supporters contributions are great but will only go so far and can only be expected for so long as lots of people face financial hardship.

The only comfort i take from what Gove said this morning is that the Government acknowledged that Sport is important to the country and think we may be about to find out how much value they place on it.

To date i don't think you can fault the clubs Covid efforts and i'm sure they will be waiting on news like the rest of us. Cancelling the season may be the only option and in the best interest of most clubs and we may to make do with behind closed door Sky football for the season 20/21.
Sam
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:08 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Sam »

But a bit of clarity on these points I am sure would put a lot of supporters minds at rest, because I am sure we are all worried about the future, even if that communication is only an opinion and the way the club sees things are going.
I think we might need to wait a while. The governments approach is to announce something on breakfast tv or twitter in the evening.

Hopefully the National League/FA are taking the initiative to fill the void in guidance from the government as this is an issue too big for clubs like Southport to solve all on their own. Plus, the thinking needs to be joined up. We don't need 24 different clubs approaching the same problems differently.

With regards to streaming, iFollow would work. But so would many other ways, and ones that are potentially better. Twitch/Youtube could handle it easily.
YTT
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:18 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by YTT »

Ifollow/Youtube take your pick of medium for streaming the fact remains it doesn't commercially stack up.

The debate already in play in the EFL is the distribution of the revenue from iFollow and the up take. How many do you think would watch online?

The cost is currently £10 per game in the EFL platform but pricing is only one issue. Then who gets what split of the proceeds? I think you'd need at least 500 to take up the option and i just can't see that at our level. Matchday is an experience and as much a social gathering as the game itself for many.

Guess work but i think the club will have ballpark base costs of circa £20k per month to cover during the course of the season. Streaming just wouldn't touch the sides. Also face the loss of matchday onsite revenue and corporate/sponsorship is devalued if not lost on top.

If you were Ian and the board what would you want/do?
Paulisi
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:40 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Paulisi »

It doesn't help when the FA Cup TV game has pictures of supporters clearly flouting social distance rules when celebrating victory.
We will find out at 12.30, but it looks like a delay.
Alan Spences Pupil
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:04 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Alan Spences Pupil »

Live streaming seems to be the only option, If clubs could get say 500 subscribers @ £10 per match and the rest of the expense met by the FA the smaller clubs may survive, pie in the sky maybe. Of course the bigger clashes v York & Chester should easily cover the expense of the getting the match on. Problem is where would this leave Season Ticket holders & Members?? Tricky & very unfortunate for all.
YTT
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:18 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by YTT »

How many season tickets/members do we have?
Paulisi
Posts: 156
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Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Paulisi »

YTT wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:40 am How many season tickets/members do we have?
It has dropped off 250-300.

Based on Boris's statement this set of restrictions will continue for 6 months.

Effectively season over and the only option is to make the players redundant.
YTT
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:18 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by YTT »

Paulisi wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:49 pm
YTT wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:40 am How many season tickets/members do we have?
It has dropped off 250-300.

Based on Boris's statement this set of restrictions will continue for 6 months.

Effectively season over and the only option is to make the players redundant.

So effectively you'd have 250-300 already having paid in advance and would get any streaming service for free. We aren't part of the current Ifollow deal at our level in any event so sadly i agree the best course of action for the longer term protection/safeguarding of the club would be for this season to be cancelled if supporters not allowed in over the next 6 months.

very fluid and lets see what comes out over the next 72hrs as the Conference have a board meeting scheduled for this week.
Brianm
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:09 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Brianm »

I don't agree with you Paulisi. There are 70 plus teams in the National League comprising many full time and semi professional football players mostly on contract. It would be total disaster to make them all redundant. The season must carry on, initially behind closed doors until spectators can begin to attend again. The Premier League and the FA must come up with a method of supporting these teams financially where necessary. If not, the structure of our national game could be destroyed for years to come with many clubs going out of business. Premier League administrators and players must be made somehow to understand this situation. Members and Season Ticket holders of Southport F C must not demand their money back or this will cripple the Club financially. Streaming must be looked into very seriously. This must be made to work for the sake of all the Clubs in the NL. Let's not be so negative about this. Let's push to persuade the powers that be to come up with a solution .
Sam
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:08 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Sam »

I wasn't really approaching it from a cost point of view. A single camera streaming on YouTube isn't going to cost much to the club. They already have to film, they already have to have an internet connection in the press box.

But if matches are forced to go ahead, the club should at least explore the option either for season ticket holders/purchasers or free for everyone just to keep a connection to the progress more so than reading reports.

My preference is to delay the season, and I'd have said that six months ago. But if not, streaming has to be done that really isn't a decision that needs a cost v benefit analysis. You'll lose more by not doing it.

Something is much better than nothing.
Paulisi
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:40 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Paulisi »

Brianm wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:34 pm I don't agree with you Paulisi. There are 70 plus teams in the National League comprising many full time and semi professional football players mostly on contract. It would be total disaster to make them all redundant. The season must carry on, initially behind closed doors until spectators can begin to attend again. The Premier League and the FA must come up with a method of supporting these teams financially where necessary. If not, the structure of our national game could be destroyed for years to come with many clubs going out of business. Premier League administrators and players must be made somehow to understand this situation. Members and Season Ticket holders of Southport F C must not demand their money back or this will cripple the Club financially. Streaming must be looked into very seriously. This must be made to work for the sake of all the Clubs in the NL. Let's not be so negative about this. Let's push to persuade the powers that be to come up with a solution .
It all depends on how long the restrictions last.
If it is weeks, most clubs will survive
If it is months or a cancellation - redundancy is the only option other the clubs will not survive without gate income.
Ollie Rave
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:28 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Ollie Rave »

Alan Spences Pupil wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:35 am Live streaming seems to be the only option, If clubs could get say 500 subscribers @ £10 per match and the rest of the expense met by the FA the smaller clubs may survive, pie in the sky maybe. Of course the bigger clashes v York & Chester should easily cover the expense of the getting the match on. Problem is where would this leave Season Ticket holders & Members?? Tricky & very unfortunate for all.
Seems a solid base of an idea that could be fine tuned.
badger
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:31 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by badger »

A lot of live stuff now coming out on Youtube and very good it all is . I do not know the in and outs of Youtube but it has been a godsend to me since last March. :D
Exiled
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:42 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Exiled »

County cricket clubs have been live streaming matches since the season started, some for free on YouTube, and some only accessible with a paid subscription. I'm sure a similar setup could be used for National League matches.
YTT
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:18 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by YTT »

Brianm wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:34 pm I don't agree with you Paulisi. There are 70 plus teams in the National League comprising many full time and semi professional football players mostly on contract. It would be total disaster to make them all redundant. The season must carry on, initially behind closed doors until spectators can begin to attend again. The Premier League and the FA must come up with a method of supporting these teams financially where necessary. If not, the structure of our national game could be destroyed for years to come with many clubs going out of business. Premier League administrators and players must be made somehow to understand this situation. Members and Season Ticket holders of Southport F C must not demand their money back or this will cripple the Club financially. Streaming must be looked into very seriously. This must be made to work for the sake of all the Clubs in the NL. Let's not be so negative about this. Let's push to persuade the powers that be to come up with a solution .
They are modelling the impact and will look at what support they can offer. That's clear in Boris's address to The House earlier today. That said footballers and the clubs staff are no different to the many hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country who find themselves facing the same challenge over the coming weeks and months.

Whether anyone likes it or not its does come down to cost and viability. Streaming isn't the answer at our level. Even if you got a take up of 500...i don't personally think you would, then season card holders and members get access for free, so left with maybe a couple of hundred paying customers.

Delay or cancellation is going to be top of the agenda for most owners and reality is harsh but football at all levels has been living beyond its means for sometime now and think both the Footballing Authorities and Premier League players are aware of the plight but further advancement on future revenues and handouts isn't the long terms solution.

This is going to see a full reset of the football pyramid and there will be casualties.
Alan Spences Pupil
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:04 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Alan Spences Pupil »

Between the 2 clubs you could well get 500 or more streamers, obviously depending on the opposition, the question is would the FA dig deep into their reserves to help preserve the game. it is laughable that the games on its uppers & the wages of Premiership clubs keep spiralling, if the wealth was distributed through the Pyramid surely that would safe guard the game, but its like Turkeys voting for Christmas I am guessing..
Sandgrounder SE
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:14 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by Sandgrounder SE »

But as Sean Dyche has said, in what other field would you expect successful businesses to bail out unsuccessful businesses?
I can’t see the PL giving out huge amounts of cash all the way down the pyramid. And don’t count on the government either. Clubs will have to find ways out of this crazy situation themselves.
TrickyDicky
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:10 pm

Re: So. What happens next?

Post by TrickyDicky »

Sandgrounder SE wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:49 pm But as Sean Dyche has said, in what other field would you expect successful businesses to bail out unsuccessful businesses?
I can’t see the PL giving out huge amounts of cash all the way down the pyramid. And don’t count on the government either. Clubs will have to find ways out of this crazy situation themselves.
Without any external financial aid or sugar daddy’s then the way out will be simply calling in the liquidators for dozens and dozens of clubs. Unemployment will eventually be so high many people, although willing wont be in a position to help. I have never known such incompetent governance in all my days, totally contradictory, schools still open hello, and led by the biggest self serving , unintelligent, Lying, adulterous, law breaking, hypocritical buffoon whose ever been labelled a prime minister. The wheels came off as soon as Cummins retained his job and set a precedent for all the ne’er do wells and marginals to follow his example and ignore all safety measures
I’m totally gutted as we’ve assembled a really interesting squad of players and the club is on the verge of being upwardly mobile, after several years of struggle,
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