Date: 21st December 2016 at 5:26pm
Written by:

I have found that Celtic will get just over £2.5m if we do go on to win the league this season from having some of our games shown on TV.

The average attendance at home games, from Wikipedia, is approx 44,000. I understand that figure is likely to have increased since Brendan Rogers took over but that’s approx 16,000 empty seats in the stadium. Some of those will be season ticket holders who have paid for seats in advance but even if, say 8,000 of these are empty and unpaid for, that would suggest that the club have lost out on approx £200,000 if these could have been sold at an average of £25 per seat.

Are you still with me ? Hello ? Wake up, I’m finally getting the point of why I’m writing.

Do Celtic need television money ? Would we be better off without TV and being able to fill the stadium instead ?

Part of the reason that I am asking this is because I saw a large number of tweets from Celtic fans who had booked transport + hotels to come and see us v Hearts on a Saturday afternoon which has now changed to a Sunday fixture. They’ve booked their return journey home which now means they’re travelling home while the game is being played.

For a start, if the fans are the lifeblood of the game, why is there no consideration given to them ? What are these people, who’ve spent a lot of money, often up to 1 weeks wages to get a game supposed to do ? Do they just take the hit and keep spending money in the hope that there’s not a further fixture change ?

Over time, more and more supporters who do live further away and have to plan these events in advance are stopping coming to the games, where’s the point ? If you were going to see a band playing several hundred miles away, would you buy a ticket when you don’t know what date / time the event will happen ?

I remember a while ago, there was talk of Celtic creating their own TV channel, we sort of have that with Celtic TV but how practical would it be for Celtic to fully own the rights of any match that’s played within our stadium ? If we could do that, why not give the opposition a percentage of earnings based on what percentage of their seats they sell ?

If it comes to it that BBC, ITV, Sky or BT Sports or any other TV channel want to broadcast our games, I’d have no objection but only if fans are given plenty of notice and if fans who have already bought tickets and have booked transport and accommodation can have alternate arrangements made for them as part of the contract between the club and channel.

What’s stopping the club from telling the TV channels that they’ll only agree to a fixture change if fans are helped out?

If you’ve not already gathered, I don’t really know anything about TV contracts so the answers to what I’ve asked in here might be obvious, maybe we’ve signed a contract and have no real control over it ?

Maybe the club simply don’t care about fans who live further away and maybe they’d rather see an 80% full stadium on TV than a 100% full stadium not on TV ?

As a supporter, I couldn’t care less if the game is on TV but when I’m there, I do like to see the stadium full. I’m realistic enough to know that last night, the stadium was never going to be full, it was freezing cold and the weather was horrendous. I was close to Glasgow cross before my hands had feeling in them again.

That said, in a game v Hearts where we should be able to fill the stadium, what has possessed the club to agree to a fixture change? Or what has forced the club into making a fixture change? How does it benefit the club?

The amount of TV money that we make for domestic football would almost certainly be recovered by filling the stadium for each and every home game if the majority of them were on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

As a final thing, I’ve just had a very quick scan over our fixtures list for the season. Until 15th April, we’ve got 17 home fixtures in the league, 9 of which are scheduled for a home Sat 3pm, one of these will be against Sevco so that’s almost certainly going to be changed for the TV so this means that less than half of our home games are Sat with a 3pm kick off.