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Opinion

How Newcastle United can add £50m of extra revenue per season if Mike Ashley sells

2 months ago
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If/when Mike Ashley sells Newcastle United, this is how you could add tens of millions of extra revenue per season.

Looking at the various areas below, I reckon that could be as much as £50m extra per year.

Without even qualifying for Europe or actually winning anything!

Filling the empty seats:

With thousands of empty seats at home games this season, Brighton is the lowest so far with 9,000 under capacity when the official crowd was announced. However, that was tickets sold, with it looking like less than 40,000 actually at the game. Whilst for Man Utd, the club sold thousands of discounted tickets through universities and other local organisations, as well as giving many more tickets away in competitions.

With just over a week to go, on top of however many corporate seats are unsold and Wolves are yet to sell out their allocation, it was revealed on Thursday morning that over 8,000 standard seats are still unsold for the next home game.

Extra Money: Reasonable to say that with new owners, at least £5m would be added to revenues compared to money from match tickets this season, with crowds surely set to fall further if Mike Ashley remains next season.

The free Sports Direct promotion:

After so many years of free Sports Direct promotion, Mike Ashley has finally been shamed into SD allegedly now paying a token £2m per season.

However, as well as all the advert hoardings, there are massive adverts on top of the stands, plus SD all over the official club website, SD branding used for all interviews, when signings are made, plus SD adverts at training ground for any media photos or video.

Extra Money: Even at a conservative figure, what Sports Direct get in terms of branding at SJP is worth at least £5m extra, as they are all but a ‘stadium sponsor’. whilst if new owners sold everything SD get as a package to an outside company, I think we are talking at least £10m, an £8m minimum more than at the minute.

The end of long-term deals:

At the moment Newcastle United still have, according to the club, around 20,000 fans on discounted long-term deals.

Assuming these deals are not continued when they end in the near future and under new owners all season ticket holders in any area pay the same price, you are looking at another cash boost.

Extra Money: At a conservative estimate that would mean at least another £3m of additional revenue once Mike Ashley has gone.

Re-Open club shops:

Before Mike Ashley came along, Newcastle United had a number of club shops, including in the city centre and at the Metrocentre.

Mike Ashley has closed all of the shops, apart from the one at St James Park, so that his Sports Direct stores don’t have the competition.

Extra Money: Very difficult to tell, especially if the club had new ambitious owners that made fans want to buy from official NUFC outlets – Once again conservatively, we will say £2m  extra revenue.

Shirt sales:

I dread to think how few replica shirts Newcastle United sell now.

In the past, a new day of the season would see seemingly almost the whole of St James Park decked out in the new home shirt. Now, you are more likely to see older style shirts, retro copies, plus many people buying the cheap fakes from overseas.

Walking about I see very few people wearing new replica shirts generally, whilst when I go to football training with my kids there are hardly any kids wearing them, whereas once it was 90% or more of them.

Newcastle United were once once of the top three or four in the Premier League and I honestly think you would have five or ten times as many being sold if fans had confidence in the owners.

Extra money: Another very conservative £2m worth of revenue.

Kit deal:

This links in partly with the above.

Difficult to imagine that without Mike Ashley, Newcastle United wouldn’t get a far better deal than they have with Puma now.

Puma are at the point whereby when new kits are launched, it is a bit of an insult to the term to claim there is any ‘launch’ whatsoever.

A massive indication of how not very lucrative the arrangement is.

Extra money; I would think at very minimum you could stick another £3m on revenue.

Shirt sponsor:

Continuing the above theme.

How much more attractive would it be to be sponsoring the shirt if ten times more fans were wearing them and the whole mood of the club was positive.

Instead of being so negatively viewed when attached to Mike Ashley.

Extra Money: Once again, stick another £3m per year on the revenue, though I think it could be far higher.

League position:

Mike Ashley aims for 17th but the minimum that new ambitious owners would aim for is surely seventh.

Not saying that top seven would be automatic but no reason why Newcastle wouldn’t be top eight.

Extra money: If we say five positions on wherever the team are likely to finish this season, then at £2m roughly for every place, that is another £10m per season.

The cups:

Maybe the most depressing part of Mike Ashley’s ownership, having no intention of allowing the club to compete in the cup competitions.

Rather than exiting as quickly as possible with minimal games, imagine if ambitious new owners had an agenda of actually trying to win something!

Even without actually winning a trophy, Newcastle would have far more cup matches, far bigger crowds, bigger prize money and so on.

Extra Money: An extra £3m minimum on average per season but obviously the potential to be far higher.

Hello Stella, Greggs and Moretti:

A pet hate of mine is the rubbish they serve at St James Park.

Nobody buys anything to eat or drink apart from the fact that there is no alternative.

Imagine if they served stuff people wanted…

Stella, Moretti, craft beers and the most obvious of all, a deal with Greggs to have them running all the food outlets.

Extra Money: A massively improved customer experience and in financial terms maybe £1m more revenue.

The corporates:

It is now very very depressing to look back at the save our seats campaign.

The unofficial singing section cleared out because like the vast majority of the Milburn Stand (apart from Level 7) those seats were needed for corporates who would pay more and buy food packages etc.

Difficult to put a figure on this but surely a serious amount of revenue is missing year after year, as demand has seriously slumped under Mike Ashley. I know many people who have both now and previously been involved in buying packages as part of their jobs, on behalf of companies etc, or themselves as individuals…the prices charged to try and fill the seats being so low compared to what would be charged and paid if the club was ran ambitiously.

Extra Money: I think an extra £4m per season is easily achievable.

I make that a figure of an extra £44m that could be very likely brought in, if the club was ambitious and fans believed in it.

This is without actually winning trophies, getting into Europe and so on.

Indeed I think that the £44m figure could easily be rounded up to £50m if you had a very different mood around the football club.

People wanting to go to functions and events on non-matchdays, keen to spend their money at Newcastle United, instead of at the minute wanting to do anything but.

As we know from the Kevin Keegan days especially, if you can start and build positive momentum then Newcastle United becomes a monster, a monster that is financially ever more lucrative in terms of the money that can be generated.

Unleashing the potential, that is all we ask for.

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