The Story So Far

Post 20

21st June 2017

I’m leading up to a Post that’s my main reason for looking into Spurs’ Finances. About the affordability of our players. Paying them. Retaining them. Signing new ones. Taking an informed look into our future, rather than simply echoing what the media and most fans believe.

The Post will be titled ‘In the Lions Den #2’.

In the meantime, every 20 Posts I intend to produce an Index here of what I’ve written, to enable me (and any readers) to look back at what I said at the time. I have no plans to ‘edit’ anything I’ve written based on hindsight.

I’ve also written my first piece on Spurs Ladies (below).

Index

Posts To Date

  1. Spurs 4 Bournemouth 0 – ‘Spurs set up for Storybook Finish’
  2. Chelsea 4 Spurs 2 (FA Cup SF) – ‘Reach for the Sky’
  3. Crystal Palace 0 Spurs 1 – ‘To the Victor the Spoils’
  4. ‘Tactics versus Strategy’ (on Pochettino)
  5. Spurs 2 Arsenal 0 – ‘Duel of the Fates’
  6. ‘Price Tag’ (on the Economics of Football)
  7. ‘Under the Radar’ (on internet trolls)
  8. West Ham 1 Spurs 0 – ‘And so it came to Pass’
  9. Spurs 1 Wolves 1 (1972) – ‘A Glory Glory Night’
  10. Spurs 2 Man United 1 – ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’
  11. Leicester 1 Spurs 6 – ‘Payback’
  12. Hull 1 Spurs 7 – ‘Live in the Moment’
  13. ‘The Emirates’ (on Arsenal)
  14. ‘Reasons to be Cheerful #1’ (on Spurs Attacking stats)
  15. ‘Reasons to be Cheerful #2’ (on Spurs Defensive stats)
  16. ‘Reasons to be Cheerful #3’ (on Spurs Finances)
  17. ‘Match Day Income’ (on Spurs Match Day Income)
  18. ‘In the Lions’ Den #1’ (on Spurs Commercial Income)
  19. ‘Talksh*te’ (on Spurs apparent Transfer Inactivity)
  20. ‘The Story so Far’ (Index and on Spurs Ladies)

 

Spurs Ladies

Like most men, I don’t follow Women’s football avidly. I’ve never attended a game live. But I’ve become a lot more aware of Women’s Club football, and interested in it, over the past couple of years. Naturally I support Spurs Ladies.

I intend to take an even greater interest over the seasons to come, especially now that we’ve been promoted to Womens Super League 2, following our 3-0 play-off victory over Blackburn Ladies in May.

I knew that Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea have embraced Women’s football and we’ve still some way to go to catch them up. But what I didn’t know was that Manchester United don’t have a Ladies team at all!

That was until I saw this article on the BBC website today (21st June). It’s written by Chris Bevan and Rachel Brown-Finnis and it can be found here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40330048

Here is a small extract:

It is shocking that in 2017 a club the size of Manchester United does not have a women’s team, and what is even worse is they will not properly explain their position. Locally, nationally or globally, whichever clubs United compare themselves to, they are allowing themselves to be left behind.
United did have a women’s team until the Glazers scrapped it in 2005, with a spokesman saying “it was not part of their core business”.
But that was 12 years ago and things are very different now – from the level of professionalism at the top level of the women’s game here to the way it is marketed and the commercial opportunities that come with that.

 

So, what’s going on? Besides the fact that all the main Premier League Clubs should be ‘inclusive’ and modern enough to support the Women’s game for non-financial reasons, it seems to me blindingly obvious they should do it for sound commercial reasons too.

As I wrote in Post 18 (‘Match Day Income’), the Staples Center in Los Angeles is home to 4 teams, including the Sparks, of the Womens NBA. The more frequently a Stadium is used, the more profitable it is.

Obviously there are extra costs involved in hosting every home game; from temporary staff in the ground to electricity, water and policing. These are the ‘variable costs’. But most of a stadium’s costs are ‘fixed’. The council rates, the interest payable on the debt (or the annual rent of a leased stadium), most management overheads; none of these things change whether a stadium’s being used, or not.

Spurs Ladies clinched the FAWPL in May at White Hart Lane in front of over 2,000 fans. Now, okay, that size crowd’s not going to bring the Club in a whole lot of income and, at low ticket prices, we might not have covered the ‘variable costs’ of hosting a match. But Spurs Ladies normally play at Cheshunt FC on Sunday afternoons in front of a couple of hundred. Small steps. It may sound farfetched, but I can see a time when our Ladies play regularly at our new stadium in front of decent crowds.

On the pitch, ‘the story so far’ of Spurs Ladies is hugely positive; three Cup Finals for 2 seasons in a row, unbeaten until March, won the ‘Treble’ of WSL play-off, FAWPL title and the Boux Avenue Cup. Managed by Karen Hills and coached by Spaniard Juan Amoros, captained by Jenna Schillaci, and with the excellent Bianca Baptiste and Wendy Martin in the team, I’d expect our Ladies to ‘kick on’ in the WSL 2. I’ll be following them.

When I first started attending occasional Spurs games on my own in the 1970s, the crowd was predominantly white and male. As the decades have passed – regardless of our success on the pitch, or not – the blend of faces in the stands has changed for the better; all ethnicities, all shades, old and young, Londoners and visitors from abroad, above all, both genders. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than the fact that my wife and daughter, as well as my two sons, share my love of THFC.

Manchester United are making a big mistake.

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