A LITTLE over a fortnight ago, we published an email we received from Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry in which he detailed why he thinks that a new stadium or even a current stadium redevelopment isn’t necessarily key to the club’s future.
Such a well written, direct communication to the fans from Mr Henry was a refreshing step for a football club owner and should be hugely respected, applauded and welcomed in equal measure, but it also doesn’t not exempt him or FSG as a whole from a critical eye or from questions that need answers.
Contained within the missive, and key to his argument, Mr Henry argued that “it is a myth that stadium issues are going to magically transform LFC’s fortunes” and produced a table (below) that was used to support his argument.
Noting the disparity in figures in the Annual Revenue per Seat, Henry stated “Can Liverpool as a community afford Chelsea or Arsenal prices? No.”
“It is often said that for Liverpool to compete in match-day revenue with United, Arsenal and Chelsea, we need a new stadium. But you can see that the £50 or £60 million differences stem as much from revenue per seat as from the number of seats.
“Even if Liverpool were able to get to 60,000 seats, there would have to be an increase from £900 to £1550 in revenue per seat as well to catch Arsenal.
“If Anfield yielded £1550 per seat, without adding seats, LFC match-day revenue would rise from £41M to £71M. That would be the same as building a new stadium with 60,000 seats or increasing seating at Anfield and increasing revenue per seat to £1170.”
On the surface of it, this is a credible argument, but not one without flaws. The facts and figures used in the argument are quite deliberate and, in some respects, give the casual observer the wrong impression and these holes in the discussion are the ones that require further analysis.
First, the big figure, the Annual Revenue per Seat (ARPS). Whilst Mr Henry might be right about the community in Liverpool being less affluent than the surrounding communities around Chelsea and Arsenal, he failed to explain, if local economics is the primary driver in ARPS, why can Manchester United manage to achieve £1425 per seat, taking their total annual match day revenue to £108.6m, £15.5m ahead of the supposed affluent Arsenal.
Further, if it all about the cost of season tickets and local economics, it’s interesting to note that out of the four teams mentioned, only Arsenal have a more expensive ‘cheapest’ season ticket than Liverpool.
Surely, the demographic of the average match going Liverpool fan and the average Manchester United fan aren’t that dissimilar that they can achieve an extra £527 per seat than at Anfield, especially given the recent near parity in the clubs’ last two sponsorship and kit deals?
What are they doing that we aren’t and can it be addressed?
What isn’t clear from the figures available is what proportion of the ARPS is down to corporate spend, but if that spend is a significant factor then does it not strengthen the argument for a new or significantly refurbished stadium?
Further in his email, Mr Henry suggests that LFC’s growth will be:
“principally driven financially by our commercial strengths globally.”
I’m also not convinced that the club can merely replace the increased revenue that a new stadium would bring by commercial deals alone, given that the commercial arm is one area of the club that is doing fantastically well, generating £77m in the last accounts. You do wonder how much more room to grow we have, and given that Manchester United, despite their worldwide presence and recent success only generated £103m, whether any increase is ever going to be enough to compensate for massively lower gate receipts.
I think it’s hasty and imprudent to assume Champions League participation without a massive capital injection on the playing side whilst also trying to keep a lid on our 73% wages to turnover ratio, which is no mean feat.
I also don’t see why, as the impression was given in the email, that commercial expansion, Champions League participation and a new stadium build have to mutually exclusive of each other.
Another interesting quirk is the now oft-quoted figure of a 60,000 capacity facility and its relatively minor impact on the balance sheet after bearing the cost of any debt accrued to fund the development.
Using the club’s own figures and given the waiting list before the recent audit was over 70,000, even assuming a post audit conservative take up of 50% which would take the number of season tickets from around 25,000 up to 60,000 alone, whichs sounds not dissimilar to Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal.
By aiming a bit higher, being a bit more ambitious and going for a 65,000+ facility could the club not conceivably offer a more varied ‘menu’ of tickets which, alongside the improved facilities that a new stadium would bring, would not only raise the all important ARPS but also potentially give the club the opportunity to offer cheaper season tickets to those who either do not want or cannot afford all the bells and whistles?
Let’s just assume that, given LFC’s saturation point from a capacity perspective, the potential for regeneration in the area allied to the demand for tickets LFC could stretch to the relatively conservative ARPS figure of £1200, then a 65,000 capacity stadium would yield £78m per year, an increase of £38m or 47% on the 10/11 figures.
Even with an increased build cost for a 65,000 capacity, with some intelligent financing arrangements and a front loaded naming rights deal, the growth on match day revenues would easily cover the cost of the project.
The other option, which FSG have also seemed to have quietly dismissed is the redevelopment of Anfield, which would also prove financially and logistically difficult given that they’d not get a naming rights deal of any value for an existing build, they’d have to close at least one, possibly two stands during the rebuild thus reducing Anfield’s capacity significantly for a long period, as well as considerable secondary income that a new stadium development would bring.
The third option, which seems to be the most likely, is that we do nothing but give Anfield a lick of paint, this is unacceptable insofar as ultimately, the long term good of the club needs a new or massively improved facility befitting of the name and history of the club, notwithstanding the long term stagnation of the area for which the club is partly responsible.
The fourth option, which on further reading given the wording of the email, is a publicly funded or part funded facility which would only mean one thing, the dreaded ground share, and if that is what the club is leaning towards then they have a responsibility to address the issue and be honest with the fan-base, rather than skirt around the matter and pretend we won’t notice.
I’d like to think that the sincerity in which Mr Henry comes across with a ground share isn’t what he is driving at, and it’s the paranoid delusions of a fan who, like many others, have been waiting for a definitive answer for far too long.
Despite my applause for Mr Henry’s email, I do not believe that his assertions on the economics stand serious scrutiny. It is difficult not to reach the conclusion that the email was a coded message that FSG have no material investment money at thier disposal either from existing or potential new investors.
If that is true, LFC are at risk of prolonged period of more stagnation, an empty trophy cabinet, a very disillusioned fan base and continuing blight of the Anfield area. And if that is also true, Mr Henry and his co-investors will bear some of the heavy responsibility (along with a lethargic city council) for yet more years of inaction.
Facts and figures shamelessly lifted from the Guardian, the ever impressive @SwissRamble and@andersred Any mistakes will be mine.
Well thought through piece – what is worrying is that the length of time taken to deliberate on this could be a smoke screen to hide an underlying strategy. Get the club financially balanced – get back the good relations with the fan base, going in the right direction on the pitch – maximizing commercial revenue and then divest of the business. This would make the business a completely different proposition from when they bought it.
There is no way that FSG would ever give any slight indication of any intent to sell any part of the their business portfolio as it could adversely affect their other investments.
They have taken longer to make a decision on the ground than they have to but the club. The length of time in itself indicates there is another agenda.
I think that getting the club back into the champions league is the milestone they want to achieve to go back into the market. That is probably the primary reason that Kenny was sacrificed and the trophy success ignored as that didn’t significantly affect the value of the brand.
What is the possible underlying reason behind the change in direction of FSG? Considering that in May the New York Times sold it 25% stake in FSG to venture capitalist Henry F. McCance, I would assume that as a venture capitalist he will want to “flip” his investment in the shortest time possible and maximize return. Henry F. McCance as a venture capitalist will have a clear and categorical strategy, not have any sentiment over any of the sports ventures of FSG just a clear profit from the transaction.
It might be worth further investigation as I would not easily believe that a venture capitalist will not have planned his short term strategy in great detail and made that clear to the management team.
Also, this point:
“why can Manchester United manage to achieve £,1425 per seat, taking their total annual match day revenue to £108.6m, £15.5m ahead of the supposed affluents of Arsenal.”
Because United is the most successful team in the country in the last 20 years. Winning drives up the value of what you offer. Liverpool could charge a lot more for its tickets if put out a high quality team of world-class players who competed for the title and every trophy every year – but it doesn’t and hasn’t for a good while now.
Also, while I have no figures to back this up, I would assume that Liverpool is a bit more dependent on its local community/economy than Manchester United is. While it’s become a standard running joke, Manchester United do have a significant number of season ticket holders who commute up from London/the London area for matches.
I apologize, that was a general reply to the article, not a reply to Scouser88. Sorry!
Don’t United have a more corporate fanbase as well? Is that what fans what for Anfield? £1400 per seat = prawn sarny brigade I think.
Your 25% figure is completely wrong, it was 25% of one of the share in FSG, i beleive there are 17 shares, not 25% of the company itself, also it was not the NY Times but the NYTimes group the body that owns a number of companies the NYT being one of them.
Nice piece, my only thought as to ARPS is the amount of matches played all the other teams are in the CL and can not olnly chrage more for those matches, but just by having those matches the ARPS goes up. JWH did address this, albeit briefly, in his email.
Why waste the money on a groundshare with Everton when we could just share with our old pals Utd who are only a few miles up the road.
I don’t understand this statement:
“The other option, which FSG have also seemed to quietly dismissed is the redevelopment of Anfield….”
How do you know they have dismissed the idea? From everything I’ve read (including JWH’s email), I was under the impress that that is their preferred course of action.
I agree with Reba. I didn’t understand that part of the piece either. Everything I’ve read, including his email, make it seem like all signs point to redevelopment of Anfield, unless a significant naming rights deal is sorted to build the new stadium.
Jumping to the conclusion that redevelopment has been dismissed and a groundshare (perish the thought) is now the option they are planning on, sounds strange to me. That seems like a terrible option for the future, even though financially it sounds great now. I’ve never got the impression they would be remotely interested in that, and to be honest, even considering it and telling the fans that would cause outrage. It would never happen.
I could be completely wrong as I know as much as the next guy being on the outside, but it seems to me that they are still searching for a naming rights sponsor. Until they can find the right deal with that, they will hold on any plans. But in the meantime, they are trying to figure out if redevelopment would be an alternative, but equally beneficial option.
To be honest, I can’t really understand why this has gone on so long and has become so complicated. It seems like in every sport, in every major city, new stadiums are built all the time. It’s not news and it’s not something that should takes years to decide. Why does it seem like Liverpool is the only sports team in the world that can’t figure out how to do this?
As a fanbase we’re obssessed with a new stadium. The Warrior and Standard chartered deals by themselves give us £45m per year. That’s as much as we’d get by way of additional revenue from a new 60k stadium. Does it not make more economic sense to look for more commercial deals to boost our income? I think we’ve only just scratched the surface of our commercial potential. We get £76m commercial revenue per year. Bayern Munich get £172m.
Maximising commercial revenue and getting back into the CL should be our priority. Then the stadium. You only have to look at Arsenal to see what stadium debt represents.They’ve not won anything since moving into their shiny new stadia. They are not able to compete with transfer fees or wages and as a result they have lost their best players. Why? Because they have the stadium debt to pay off.
I struggle to see how we’d pay off the debt on a £350m stadium while not playing in the CL and being able to compete in the transfer market.
On the 26th June JW Henry tweeted this ‘It’s Liverpool: Anfield http://petermcgurk.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Anfield
Looking just a little bit deeper, there are no holes or flaws in JWH’s statement.
Although the two sets of fans pay roughly the same prices. There are more proportionately fans who pay the higher prices at OT for more games in a season.
This pretty much accounts for the difference between the Anfield RPS (about £900) and OT (about £1430). Arsenal have more games and higher prices.
The projection of £1200 RPS is neither conservative nor aggressive. It’s simple maths.
But it is interesting that the same figures are derived from applying today’s prices at Anfield but with the same proportion of premium seats as at OT (about 12%-13%).
Standard prices at Anfield are already £40 – £45. Premium prices vary from £144 to £456 (ouch!) for a Category A game.
Clearly the thing to do would be to keep prices the same (who can afford higher?) but increase the proportion of premium seats to about 12%-13%
So 7,200 premium seats. 52,800 standard seats. And better, to provide a wider range – some more expensive, some cheaper – in both categories. Something for everyone.
A move from 60k to 65k increases the risk of covering the cost and not obtaining planning consent. Nonetheless (and taking the evaluation of the season ticket list into account because they can) the club has said that the best balance of affordability for the fans, capacity and cost is 60k-65k.
A new stadium at that level would cost in the order of £30m to £35m a year – ‘intelligently’ financed or otherwise – or about the same as the increase in revenue. Surplus for the team, nil.
A ‘front-loaded’ naming rights deal – even if remotely achievable – would need to at least equate to £15m to £20m a year to make a new stadium even just as good as a redevelopment. To make the risk worthwhile, probably £20m to £25m. Good Luck.
There would be no loss of revenue during construction at Anfield just as much as there was no loss of revenue during the expansion of the Kemlyn Road stand to become the Centenary stand.
Doing nothing is a lost opportunity. Incremental redevelopment creates a great return.
Bayern earn £160m commercial revenues form a national base. LFC has a global reach.
He uses state (or ‘supporting development’ – flats in Highbury) assistance as an illustration of the difficulties of new stadium building, not as a precursor to a shared stadium or as a begging bowl to council (who have no money)
Talking far too much sense Peter. Its not on.
Great blog Peter, A 50 year plan for the redevelopment of the existing stadium and a 90,000 seat incremental master plan is a far better strategy than a once-in-a-lifetime stadium.
I recently went to Lords with two children and what made the experience so much more enjoyable than watching cricket at Old Trafford was the nursery end, basically a large second pitch where all the temporary food stalls are and people mingle and kids play cricket.
Lords as a ground is being incrementaly increased without much loss of revenue or more importantly history or atmosphere. Each stand has a name, so while Lords is still Lords and the Pavillion will always be (it’s Kop) in years to come you could imagine a Britt insurance stand replacing the Warner stand without much fuss and a few extra million in the coffers.
The possibility of integrating Stanley Park with the Anfield Road end of the ground could be exciting; in Paris there is the new(ish) Bercy park and village that crosses a main road and provides bars and shops for local residents but there is also a multiplex cinema, a museum and restaurants, if the Liverpool FC museum and a undercover fan zone with big screen were incorporated then the district would have the beginnings of a focal point that uses it two greatest assests, the stadium and the park.
Peter McGurk’s spamming of forums with his view of Anfield is embarrassing, as is your article – Best fans in the world my arse, the most critical who will drive successive owners from the club
There’s being critical and being critical for the sake of it, we’re only two months out of Kenny’s horror show (Carroll,Downing, Adam etc etc..)
Brendan is the right man to take the club forward unfortunately we’re a fan base of TAW who think they’re right and amateur architects
Call it spamming if you like but I think that’s better than letting mis-information persist.
Stuff that’s dragging us down and clinging on to a model of a new stadium that does not work (just for vanity).
And no I’m not an amateur architect.
Loathe to get into a slanging match but if you’re going to throw around accusations of misinformation you best make sure you’re own facts are in order.
There is no way that a new stadium, even without naming rights, would cost £35m per season to service whether it suits your argument or not.
No. No intention of a slanging match but ditto – I did not say dis-information – for example on closer examination of how it works, you will include paying back capital (as well as interest) in the figure for sure.
The ‘costs’ also include the cost of providing whatever capital is required to be put in by the club to secure the funding and/or guarantee the balance.
The interest on cash in someone else’s account is money lost to you. Or in this case the club. Money that could have been spent on players.
JWH is trying to present a complicated situation in a bite-sized and understandable chunk – two or three paragraphs – it’s unfair to say it’s misleading without first questioning the information presented.
It was misleading though, using Chelsea and Arsenal’s figures, who are in London, yet ignoring Manchester United’s.
I may be wrong, but I’m under the distinct impression they may be the softening the fan base for more years of stagnation on the project.
Can someone tell me, using some facts and logic instead of cliches and emotion, why ground sharing is seen as such a bad idea in the UK?
While I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s “common”, it’s certainly been done successfully in other places (e.g. the San Siro, Luigi Ferraris and Olimico stadiums in Italy, Allianz Arena in Germany, the New Meadowlands NFL stadium in the USA). But everyone here seems so dead set against it.
You have obviously never supported a sport team of any sort (let alone Liverpool) if you think for one second that emotion can be removed from the explanation. Emotion is the driving force of all human endeavour.
Andrew, if you want to see what i mean have a look at LordNerpus post below.
The day you can put vanity in the bank is the day you would build that stadium. Overblown. Overpriced. Over ego.
The ‘logic’ for a shared stadium rests on EFC having the funds for their share… and being willing to give up most of their existing revenue to sustain it… and being willing to not take a share of sponsorship… and a sponsor being willing to sponsor a brand ‘hybrid’. There is no logic.
It’s not just the UK. The San Francisco Giants/San Francisco 49ers and Oakland As, & Oakland Raiders are in the same Bay Area Metro area but they don’t want to share stadiums. Cubs and The White Sox in Chicago have no interest in sharing stadiums. Even Chivas USA who shares with the LA Galaxy have been inquiring about moving to a different part of L.A. to get their own stadium. Yankees and Mets? Nope. Brooklyn Nets could easily play at Madison Square Garden where the Knicks do but they are building their own stadium. This is far from an UK thing. The reason the Meadowlands is tolerated is because the Meadowlands has zero attachement or meaning to the Either team. And the Stadium holds next to no meaningful attachment to those teams. In fact pretty much nobody liked it. The other thing is if you share you get only half of all revenue from non football activities. So if you hold a concert you only get half and that non football stuff will go a large way to paying for the stadium. Regardless,
Interesting posts but to my mind commercial growth is the way forward. As has been pointed out we have a global fanbase and we have no where near maximised our revenue.
Yes, we are not far behind Utd in commercial revenue but we should not see that as some sort of ceiling.
When FSG took over the red sox they grew sponsorship agreements from 35 to 95.
Plenty of potential revenue still to be realised.
Yes yes, we all know what an utter c*nt Tom hicks was/is, but that plan he had for the new stadium was incredible. 70kplus with a Kop that seemed to sweep back to eternity.
Och, I remember the 1st time I laid eyes on the plans, my hairs stood on end, it was a theatre, and filled with our fans it would have been a cauldron, a colosseum..it’s what we deserved, it’s what we need and what we should have.
We shouldn’t be having these types of debates. We shouldn’t have an owner trying to negotiate a lowering of our standards. it’s bullshit.
He knew what was required before purchasing the club, he knew what was most needed, he knows what we want, he knows what we need, and this arsing around with figures is a pisstake.
We need a stadium that mirrors who we are.
We’re Liverpool FC..this isn’t fucking Chelsea, Sir Henry
Get it right..get a ‘spade in the ground’, and quick..
A spade to bury the club in debt with?
“Groundshare with our neighbours, united …”
What does ARPS cover though. League, League and cups? Home friendlies too? Or do they include away games too? Payments from UEFA etc?
Surely being competitive in cup competitions brings the ARPS up too. Chelsea played 6 extra Champions League games at their place last season. Also went to the final of the FA Cup.
Also, are those figures saying that a Manchester United season ticket holder paying £703 for their ticket is going to spend an extra £700 on the club over the season? If so, thats like 1,400 £5 pints. 17 1/2 football shirts. 233 programmes.
Lastly, I might spend more at the ground if I didn’t have to queue up 20 minutes to piss or queue up for 25 minutes at half time to get a pint :)
Revenue per seat as created by Deloiitte (Football Money League) is a very simple calculation that covers everything about revenue for stadium (prices, attendance, capacity, number of games, ‘success’ (via number of games), attractiveness (for the away fan), competitions…) in one go.
Simply divide the total earned by the stadium over the year by the capacity of the stadium.
So all the competitions are already in the numbers.
So a Champions League and cup run could substantially lift the ARPS figure as there are more days to bring in revenue?
Yes (Feint Zebra) but we already played 27 home games in 2010/11 for a revenue of £40.5m (latest published revenue figures), so the increase in rps would come from bigger attendances at CL games (rather than Europa Cup).
And domestic cup games would help too but to get to £72m, you must have proportionately more premium seats.
You could get to about £1010 rps with a good CL run (7 games at 50% higher attendance than Europa games)
For some reason, I cannot reply directly to Andrew’s last reply so I’ll do it here…
JWH’s had several general points.
One, that building a new stadium without assistance from government, football association or commercial property (flats for sale etc) is difficult. So difficult in fact that it’s hard to find where it has been done.
Secondly, that other clubs in other cities can afford the higher prices that we would need for a new stadium to cover costs and produce a surplus but cannot pay.
Thirdly, that a new stadium would not bridge the gap to other more lucrative stadia at the prices we could afford to pay. Those prices may be similar to United’s (and he has discussed OT as a model previously) but we cannot close the gap on Arsenal or Chelsea with our kind of prices.
In short, he is saying – a new stadium is too hard to make work, it would never make up the difference anyway and he knows that we can’t dig any deeper in our pockets for higher prices. All pretty sensible (and good for the fans).
I should have said… it’s hard to find where it has been done at the scale (and the scale of cost) we’re talking about.
See, thats another point I take issue with on Henry’s “How many other sides have built a stadium over 30,000+ in the last 10 years?”
The answer to that question is none because the only other team who could fill a stadium over 60,000 in England is us.
Is it not interesting that both Spurs and Chelsea, who don’t have any waiting lists for seasons tickets are both planning new builds?
It’s really easy to get drawn into false comparisons (and that’s what JWH was warning against). Spurs and Chelsea are in an area that can support higher prices. Abramovitch has bottomless pockets and can seemingly throw ‘free money’ at the club.
Both would no doubt do ‘something appropriate’ with their existing grounds (flog apartments – even if CFC would have to build around the pitch instead of on it…).
One thing is for sure – no two sets of stadia circumstances are alike.
The Spurs situation is interesting i personally believe that they have never intended to build a new stadium they were hoping to have tax payers do it for them (like Man city) and move into a nice shiny olympic stadium and save the costs of a build.
Admittedly they would have had to make a token payment maybe £60 M paid over 25 years or whatever and pocketed the cash from selling WHL for development.
Now that the Olympic stadium is going elsewhere i think their new stadium plans will quietly go the way of Harry Redknapp, out the door.
The new stadium is working out great for Arsenal http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2168806/Robin-van-Persie-refuses-sign-Arsenal-contract.html
Having followed with great interest this entire stadium saga over the past 12 years i have to agree with peter’s suggestions on his blog….stay at Anfield and in co-operation with the city council begin a well planned, long term process of redeveloping Anfield & the surrounding community. Create an ‘Anfield village’, and possibly, in conjunction with EFC in the future, a ‘football quater’ that would become a major tourist attraction for the city incorporating boths clubs and stanley park (with EFC doing something similar around Goodison)…..start with the main stand, followed by redevelopment of the Anfield Rd stand….possibilties for raising the roof of the Kop and adding capacity there…and eventually look at ‘filling in the corners’….allocate family areas, offer a wide range of pricing options to suit all fans needs, wants and budgets….step by step, at a pace that is affordable….offer consessions to suit too….both inside & outside of the ground including the local pubs (the Sandon, Albert, the Park…get Carlsberg involved)…maybe a big screen/garden area for fans who can’t get in to sold out games but want to be as close as possible….much cheaper than a new build, keeps us at anfield and can be done in stages….should be easily able to expand to 60-65k whilst keeping the atmosphere and selling out all EPL & Euro games increasing match day revenues whilst NOT pricing out any of the fans…win win ……
Henry’s first season in the business of Liverpool FC failed to meet expectations and so he has decided to limit further investment.
No hard feelings; it’s what any business person would do.
Every post seems to be about money. You know what? Not everything is about money. A new stadium can give seats that people over 6ft can actually fit in to, toilets that aren’t a half hour excursion because of queues, beer and scran outlets likewise.
H&G were a pair of bulbs but my God what a stadium plan that was. I too drooled at the thought of experiencing LFC’s future history in that place.
Obviously we cannot risk our future stability by spending stupidly, but boiling every decision down to the enth penny is a really soulless pursuit.
It’s not economically wise to buy a new car and drive it out the showroom having lost a couple of grand off the value in the process but you know what? It’s a really nice experience and worth every penny.
Go to places like the King Power in Leicester, Pride Park, Reebok etc – all stadia that are ‘new’ and in each case; everywhere you look it’s shortcuts or a build done on the cheap and frankly it makes you feel like cattle being fed through a corporate machine that has only the barest minimum respect for the fan’s match day experience.
My company’s corporate headquarters in London would have cost a lot less if the lobby had been fitted with cork tiles and lino but, in fitting with the company’s stature and worldwide reputation – instead it’s fitted with a couple of million quids worth of Italian marble and worth every penny to anyone passing through it. Doesn’t half make you want to go again.
It’s all academic anyway – there really cannot be many people left who believe any of this bunkum anyway. Liverpool FC is being done-up like a grand old house ready to sell. If these guys had any money (or intention of building a world-beating squad) then Rafa would have been re-hired and given a blank chequebook.
I can assure you, Fenway Park does not have a cheap feel. Neither does Westfalstadion, two sporting establishments LFC should mimic (thankfully our owners have intimate experience with the former), why should we reinvent the wheel?
You think the H&G stadium was a good idea? Take a look at the projected cost versus how much it actually cost. Hint: it cost more than Wembley. I think it’d turn out to be shambolic and would have crippled the club in the vain of Darlington.
Pardon the second paragraph, typing on a tablet isn’t ideal. The second paragraph is suppose to reference Cowboys Stadium, the Goliath tribute to America, complete with an enormous TV screen hanging in the middle of the stadium. The same firm that designed Cowboys Stadium was the creator of the H&G stadium.
I think it was playing Bertie Big Fella with the club that got us in the dwang last time wasn’t it?
Just what we need – a few slabs of marble instead of a well and solidly-funded football club. Loadsamoneeeee!
Used to be that the new stadium was the ‘head decision’, the money maker. Now that’s been exposed, the true attachment to a new stadium is exposed – vanity.
I’d prefer a renovated Anfield. Definitely possible to make significant changes over the next few years particularly when you consider the likelihood of the City Council and residents around Anfield being open to re-development. It would be good for the club and the community.
FSG did it before at Fenway Park when they faced much more stubborn local residents.
Also, I definitely think we could get a decent naming rights deal for Anfield. It’s a famous ground and represents a globally recognized institution. Just because it’s older has no real effect on the issue. The New Orleans Saints sold the naming rights of the Louisiana Superdome to Mercedes-Benz last year in a 10 year, $100m deal after massive renovations. Not a huge number per year, but neither are deals for newer stadiums of note (MetLife Stadium in New York – $17-$20 per year, Emirates Stadium and shirt sponsorship – £7m).
What do “we” want with regards to the new stadium/upgraded Anfield?
Is it for the club to make more money to invest in the playing staff?
Is it to increase the chances of getting match tickets?
Is it to have a better environment to watch the game in?
Is to enable regeneration of the area around Anfield?
First, as fans, do we even agree on what the priority is?
secondly, our priority might be completely different to the other key stakeholders (owners, council, local residents)
Reading the debate it’s clear that there are signifcantly differing views on this and that’s just amongst fans!
Your view on the priority will impact on what needs to be done.
e.g. Ian Ayre is on record (http://www.liverpoolfc.com/best-of-lfc/first-supporters-committee-meeting) as saying c50% of total matchday revenue comes from the 6-7% of tickets that are designated as hospitality (c2,800 tickets)
If you crunch the numbers you can work out just how much each hospitality ticket makes compared to non-hospitality.
You can also project that if hospitality tickets are increased to 7,500 in a 60,000 seater then the current matchday revenue would DOUBLE
What’s more important than whether LFC could sell 7,500 hospitality tickets is whether the fans would accept 30% of the increased capacity being turned over to hospitality. If not, it shows that we haven’t really bought into the overall goal. Perhaps many think that they’d like the club to make lots more money to buy players with but aren’t prepared to accept what that means.
I’d love to see the articles and debate on here to ask just that. What is it that the majority of fans want? And what are we prepared to accept?
Dan Kennett: The tenor of this is very true. ‘We’ have consistently been asking the wrong question with regards to a stadium.
Given that the numbers don’t work for a new stadium and never have, there has to had to have been another question. A good candidate would be that the stadium was a device to attract new owners – to give the club ‘hutzpah’ on the market.
A sales pitch that H&G at least temporarily bought into, found was undeliverable and then tried to turn into an even bigger ball of beeswax to pass on for an even bigger price (no matter that the cost, which of course they would never have paid).
One of H&G’s parting shots in the ‘epic swindle’ was to ask ‘where’s the value of our stadium consent?’ They wanted to be paid for the false bubble they had created. As it happened H&G didn’t get a penny for the work done.
Because FSG will have seen right through it, day one. Been there, done that. The ‘asset’ on the books was deemed effectively worthless and then scrapped. Really, FSG came in with their eyes open and set about asking the proper question – ‘what is the best way to make this club successful again?’
The answer is to grow total (nett) revenue (from commercial, broadcasting, matchday) and still live within the club’s mean. Not to be wildly reckless or splash billions but to run a properly-funded football club that would still be the best there is.
There’s a lot of growth potential in global commercial revenue and once the cork is out of the internet genii, massive broadcasting revenues to be had – at relatively little cost and risk. So in that there is a massive challenge for a stadium.
Concrete and steel are huge investments. A shirt deal can be done for the cost of the ink in the pen (well, not quite but you know what I mean). And the shirt deal is worth more than the additional nett income from a new stadium (after paying for it) – a lot more.
The top line of this equation (the revenue) is to all intents and purposes fixed. New or redeveloped, the stadium can only earn so much because that’s all ‘we’ can pay and there are only so many of us that can.
Where a redevelopment slaughters a new stadium is the bottom line. Half the cost for the same income. From effectively the same product. No brainer.
The figures are starting to settle. 7200 premium seats, 52800 standard seats, today’s prices – spread out a bit more. £1200 revenue per seat from 19 to 23 games. Just as many extra seats. A better chance of getting to the game. A ‘better’ offer for those who want it. Something for everyone. Not a soulless bowl. Not a gin palace in the park. Different. Unique to LFC. It answers the right question.
Until Henry’s email of 15 June I had the impression FSG considered match day revenues fundamental to LFC being able to compete. A new or redeveloped Anfield was a top priority.
Now we are being told it doesn’t compare with other revenue options. The arguments sound credible, but stadium financing is a well honed science. What has changed to lead Henry to talk down the stadium issue?
We know the various stadium options will require significant further capital investment from FSG. Is Henry signalling that FSG is disappointed with the performance of their investment and is now less inclined to invest further capital?
I wonder if in debating which version of the stadium is most appropriate we are missing the main message … maybe we aren’t getting anything.
A new (or possibly redeveloped) stadium was the fans’ priority. The fans had been misled. It never was the club’s saviour.
The first things FSG said were ‘global revenue is the priority’ and the ‘club will live within its means’. Too many only heard ‘H&G are gone’.
The discussion however does seem to keep coming back to an improved stadium and how much we should have to pay for tickets. Fans perhaps should be aware that global revenue may not include an improved stadium.
‘global revenue’ is revenue from around the world, commercial sponsorships, shirts, tv, internet… it is not the stadium or matchday revenue. No ‘perhaps’ about it.
I was born in Liverpool but no longer live in England so must defer to Peter McGurk’s superior knowledge of local geography; my mistake thinking Anfield was still part of the globe.
As Peter McGurk explained, other revenue options do not require the capital investment of an improved stadium. It makes sense to pursue those other revenue options.
FSG’s investment in LFC has underperformed. Love LFC though I do, as a business person I can understand their reluctance to commit further capital.
LFC fans should be alert to the possibility that an improved stadium may no longer be on FSG’s agenda. We may never have an explicit statement from FSG to that effect, so we should be aware that ‘ongoing negotiations’, or ‘ongoing research’, or discussion about the detail, or even setting up a committee to accelerate a process are all effective strategies for hiding the fact that it isn’t going to happen.
My apologies. I misunderstood you but I’m still here and so is Liverpool. So that will be local – not from around the world. That would be geographically global.
In business anyone would be happy to invest when they know they have a very good chance of a good return. When not, they won’t. It’s not about reluctance to invest per se or, “we’re disappointed’, ‘LFC is a bad bet’… it either helps the club or it doesn’t. A new stadium doesn’t.
On the (massive) assumption that the club can do better from matchday revenue, a redevelopment can and will. Especially if it is done gradually putting the minimum of (our) money at risk and for maximum return to the benefit of the club.
In that case, doing nothing is a lost opportunity and a loss of competitive edge. While doing too much is a disaster.
We see further evidence of FSG’s reluctance to invest further capital in Rogers’ statement today that ‘We don’t have a wheelbarrow load of money,’
I applaud FSG for the financial support they gave Dalglish, but things didn’t work out as hoped and one is left wondering if we had more success last season would FSG have downplayed the importance of an improved stadium.
Also I recall reading last season that Ian Ayres touted a naming rights deal for the new Anfield as ‘the biggest sponsorship deal in sporting history’, which rather got my juices flowing … hardly downplaying the importance of a stadium in the overall picture.
It does seem something has changed and I think what changed was the end of season placing and the prospects for long term revenue that follow from that placing.
From this season I fear LFC may be in a new era. FSG must now reasonably limit their exposure to LFC.
With limited resources for players we are unlikely to compete for the Premier League or the Champions League. Without success on the pitch is will be difficult to secure global revenues at the level required to buy success.
I feel horribly fearful that LFC may be in terminal decline. Please someone dispel my gloom.