Manchester United spark a goldmine effect but could it head our way?

18 Feb

So tonight it begins. FCM v Manchester United in the Europa League last 32. As a Brentford supporter, my feelings on all things Mitdjylland have been well documented and I hadn’t planned on looking at this one. Good luck to both teams and all that but I’m more concerned with how the Bees fare in Saturday’s forthcoming game with Derby County . Then, Rasmus went and spoke to the radio.

Manchester United fans are, understandably, somewhat upset about being charged £71 a person to watch tonight’s game. Moreso when FCM’s earlier home tie against Southampton saw prices set at a much more reasonable £22. It is a staggering amount of money to watch a game of football in any right, let alone one outside of the final (where prices are out of the club’s control).

Mark Chapman (not ours, although given the amount of shared roles in this scenario nothing would surprise me) spoke to Rasmus Ankersen on BBC 5 live yesterday. The Dane, of course, being co-director of football at Brentford as well as chairman of FCM.

Rasmus talks to Beesplayer

Rasmus Ankersen

In the interview, which you can find here and I’d urge Bees fans to listen to, Rasmus attempts to underline the reasoning behind this price hike, arguing that it is a compromise between supply and demand. A chance to make money whilst keeping the game in FCM’s stadium.

This worries me. A lot. That a club seriously considered moving a cup tie from their home. Not because of anything such as safety concerns but just because they could shift more tickets. Likewise, that the alternate is to fleece the fans. I’m sure lots of Danes did want to see the game. As Rasmus notes in the interview, they could have sold upwards of 50,000.

Rasmus – it’s called the woodwork effect. Welcome to the real world of football. When a small team draws a big name, people that wouldn’t be seen dead within a mile of a football stadium suddenly remember their supposed love of the beautiful game. It’s why clubs have all manner of loyalty schemes (such as our own ‘Ticket Access Points’ ) in order to ensure the loyal supporters can get first dibs on games such as this. The chance to see a ‘David’ slay a ‘Goliath’ in their own backyard – not 50 miles up the road in some soulless enormodome.

Brentford chairman Cliff Crown (who also doubles up as a director at FCM) ploughed the same furrow. He was quoted on Talksport as saying “We are a very small club in a small region of Denmark and this is our cup final so we have to make the most of this opportunity.”

Putting to one side the “this is our cup final” quote (something that is as toe curling as a half and half scarf), this reiteration of the opportunistic element to this game does make me nervous and concerned.

cliff

Cliff Crown at Southampton

With Griffin Park having a similar capacity and pricing structure to FCM (at least, based on the Southampton tickets), can we expect similar next season should we draw a Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea in the cup? Are we going to be asked to pay through the nose? The fifth of the cost of a Griffin Park season ticket for 90 minutes of football

Likewise, what happens if we go up? It almost happened last season although, at least, those fans who got in before our fate was known found ST prices kept at what would have been a very reasonable level for Premier League football. But long term, or in the case of a fortunate cup draw, what would we start to charge?

Quite frankly, I can’t afford an unexpected £71 on top of all the other expenses and so would have had to give the game a miss.

Anybody who thinks that would be an acceptable price is living in Walter Mitty land.

Saunders territory Chelsea

If Chelsea come back to Griffin Park can we expect a price hike?

Nick Bruzon

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7 Responses to “Manchester United spark a goldmine effect but could it head our way?”

  1. RebelBee February 18, 2016 at 8:03 am #

    Disappointing that the first time I hear anything from our chairman or Danish co DoF this year, it is to do with FCM ticketing & their cup final. I’m a little surprised by the apparent rampant capitalism given MB’s involvement, MB & BFC have generally been fair to our fans over pricing / away travel etc, and when he routinely posted on twitter, MB never came across as a Gordon Gekko type at all – far from it.

    This is poor form at a time when our own fans groups are campaigning hard for fair ticket prices in English football. And I guess the media will enjoy linking Man U fans righteous outrage to the “owner of moneyball Brentford”.

    Mind you my day at Hillsborough on Sat cost me almost as much as a trip to middle earth to see FCM.

    As for that half/half scarf picture – shameful, no true football person would touch it – still I guess he’d be happier if it was FCM/Arsenal right.

    • Roderic February 18, 2016 at 10:13 am #

      The Danish club, has been incongruously mentioned on the BFC official website, recently,”good luck in the big match,etc”, so however irrelevant all that is to GP, I believe the Faustian element to the involvement of BFC with the “great” man [praise his name] and his crew, will become increasingly apparent.

  2. Luke Williams (@LukeWilliamsR) February 18, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    good read

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) February 18, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    Was also shocked to read that fans are being charged £71 to see the game in Herning tonight, and like yourself thought, that this could be us. I know I could never afford to go to a game costing £71. Couple of years ago I was offered the chance to buy a ticket to the Bournemouth-Real Madrid friendly at some similar astronomical price. Even with it being Real Madrid, Ronaldo et al, I thought of much worthier things to spend my hard earned cash on. Turned it down, and i would do the same if it was Brentford.

    Interesting interview with Rasmus in the Telegraph about todays game and one particular quote caught my eye..
    “We had a good transfer window. [They signed the Czech striker Vaclav Kadlec from Eintracht Frankfurt.]”
    Im glad Rasmus thinks he had a good transfer window, but perhaps someone needs to tell him that he is also Brentford’s DoF, and remember we had a dire transfer window, losing 3 outstanding players yet signing no one, and wasting time tracking players we could never afford.

    I got shot down in flames on the GPG for suggesting that shared roles between 2 clubs does not work. You are always going to have an imbalance and when there is a dynamic season for FCM compared to a season that was effectively over in mid January for us, well it was always clear where certain staff were going to spend their time.

    Some final questions. Will Cliff be telling Talksport about our game against Derby Saturday? Will Rasmus know how to deal with the threat of Joe Mason on Tuesday? Will whoever was last to leave GP remember to turn off the lights?

    • nickbruzon February 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

      BQ. Cliff isn’t stupid. Why would he tall about Derby when the QPR match is obviously our cup final. Smacks Palm to forehead.

  4. Gordonbankole February 18, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    RebelBee and BQ have got it spot on I’m afraid, and it’s difficult to see how even the GPG ultra-loyalist mob can defend our DOF after that quote.

    Sorry Rasmus, but we had a totally shit transfer window, much like the previous one really. All that despite your assertions that we would be stronger after every one. And if we’re having to trim our ambitions until Lionel Road comes about, please don’t give it the Bertie Big Bollocks and be more realistic.

    I can understand the loyalty to MB – he has built up a lot of credit over the years, and rightly so. But for people to take this shared roles mullarkey and not accept any criticism of it despite the obvious mistakes which have been made, is utterly bizarre.

    This summer is arguably bigger for the DOFs than for Dean Smith.

    • Roderic February 19, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

      The So on we go to Brentford tomorrow for what is shaping up to be an interesting encounter between two teams who have made a habit of strange managerial decisions over the last two seasons.

      The parting of the Bees and Mark Warburton last year was bizarre and the instability seen since should serve as a warning to other clubs. It won’t, of course.

      Read more: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Derby-County-Fans-real-Derby-way-says-supporter/story-28762276-detail/story.html#ixzz40dak08gD
      Follow us: @DerbyTelegraph on Twitter | derbytelegraph on Facebook

      18/02/16

      Well put, everyone can see it except at GP; oh move on , forget about it, the “great man”, knows best, NEVER!

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