There are more important things in life than football. And if a global pandemic doesn’t add weight to the “it’s just a game” argument then what will? And yes, our healthcare services are tending to much more serious problems of life and death.
But the sport (and indeed business) of football has been seriously hit by Coronavirus. The suspension of all leagues at incredibly short notice is financially devastating for many clubs. And while you’d be forgiven for thinking that the bigger clubs are the likeliest to come out the other side unscathed (relatively at least) it’s those clubs that have the largest wage bills. What do you do when your monthly wage bill runs into the millions and the overwhelming majority of your income streams dry up?
But let’s look ahead. One of the biggest questions being asked about the return of football now (apart from “when?”) is what impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on the cost of going to football in the long term.
Ticket pricing, like the pricing of so many consumer items, is a matter of supply and demand.
There are two possible entirely opposite scenarios with regards to demand:
Other possible causes of fluctuations to pricing centre around fluctuations to the cost of actually putting a game on. One perfectly feasible scenario is that some social distancing measures could be imposed. Let’s say, for example, football clubs are forced to reduce capacity, then it might mean ticket prices need to increase to account for that.
Coronavirus is also going to result in a deep recession. We’ve already seen sizeable job losses. And in times of recession, people spend less, particularly on non-essentials. This in turn could reduce demand.
The reality is that we have yet to see the full impact that Coronavirus will have on all areas of industry, society and business – and this includes football.
One thing’s for sure… the game of football will be no less loved. Let’s just hope it’s no more difficult to afford either.