Relegation misery could cost clubs up to £750k

Fleetwood Town manager Steven Pressley
Fleetwood Town manager Steven Pressley
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It’s not just bragging rights that Blackpool and Fleetwood Town will be battling over at Highbury today.

For the Fylde Coast football rivals, both deep in trouble in League One, the outcome of the six-pointer could hit them hard in the club pocket with one estimate being £750,000.

With games running out to pick up points to save them from the drop, football financial experts have warned that the clubs could take a hit of up to £750,000 by falling out of League One.

The Football League confirmed the payments for a club in League One being relegated to League two fall from £680,000 to £420,000.

On top of that clubs get a Solidarity Payment from the Premier League TV income.

For teams in League One it is around £450,000. But if a clubs slips down into League Two it falls to £300,000.

The difference from the two payments could be around £360,000.

Although neither club are in financial difficulties, the would be a significant blow.

And one expert said that could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Rob Wilson, football finance expert, from Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre said fans would be more concerned with getting the win than how much the club may lose financially.

Blackpool’s situation is skewed with many fans expected to stay away from Bloomfield Road next season, regardless of which division they are in when, when their season tickets run out in protest at the running of the club by the Oystons.

He said: “We estimate that for a club the size of Blackpool the loss in league payments is around £360,000. But then you have to consider attendances the following season.

“In general terms attendances fall by 10 to 20 per cent.

“There tends to be a knee jerk reaction from fans. Many will be asking themselves whether to bother renewing their season tickets but the main loss will be from those who go to matches ad hoc.

“The total impact could be around half a million pounds.

“It could also depend on which players they keep and which they add.

“If the team starts off well in League Two playing decent football, many of those fans will start to come back.

“If performances improve and they can consolidate by Christmas that will happen, but if not they may not get those fans back. There is also the player contracts to consider.

“If they have players on relegation release clauses that they can off load that will help, but otherwise their expenditure on players could be higher than the budget would allow for that division.”

He added that relegation could also hit shirt sponsorship and commercial endorsements at the ground bringing a total hit of £750,000.