Scottish Premiership: Tickets sales comprise 43% of revenue

Scottish Premiership clubs earned 43% of their revenue in 2018 from ticket sales
Scottish Premiership clubs earned 43% of their revenue in 2018 from ticket sales

Scottish Premiership clubs earn a greater percentage of their income from ticket sales than any other top league in Europe, according to Uefa's latest Club Licensing Benchmark report.

The report on football finances states that 43% of revenue in the Scottish top flight in 2018 came from gate receipts.

That figure is almost three times the European average of 15%.

A BBC Scotland study in September found adult fans could not buy a Scottish Premiership ticket for less than £20.

That survey covered prices this season, but in 2018, only five nations made more money from ticket sales than Scotland, irrespective of population size or attendances.

Speaking to BBC Scotland at the time, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster insisted that every club in Scotland is "continuing to make every effort to make football as affordable as possible".

He said: "Our game continues to go from strength to strength. Average attendances have increased across all four divisions, the League Cup and Challenge Cup for the last five years in a row.

"One in 47 people in Scotland attend an SPFL match each weekend, which means it remains by far the best attended league per head of the population anywhere in Europe.

"This underlines the value and enjoyment supporters get from Scottish football."

Where does Scottish football make its money?

According to the most recent financial figures from Uefa, the Scottish Premiership ranks 11th in Europe for the amount of money it made in 2018, totalling 229m euros.

The 43% that comes from gate receipts is more than the combined amount of money the league makes from TV and sponsorship deals.

The Scottish top-flight's broadcasting deal made up 10% of its revenue, with Uefa prize money accounting for 18%, and sponsorship and commercial deals a further 26%.

That reliance on ticket sales appears to be a trend. In 2014, the percentage of total revenue made up from gate receipts stood at 34% and it increased season-on-season since.

Since 2014, Scottish football's total revenue has risen by 52%, with the amount made from tickets sales having almost doubled, going up by 92%.

Scottish fans paying their way

Scottish Premiership games are considered among the best attended in Europe per head of population, but they are also among the most lucrative.

A total of 98m euros was made from gate receipts in 2018 - far more than countries of a comparable population, such as Norway and Denmark.

In the same year, the Norwegian top flight amassed 21 million euros, while the Danish top tier made 14m.

In fact, the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs made more from ticket sales than 18 Turkish clubs, 18 Portuguese clubs or 16 Russian clubs.

That can be, in part at least, attributed to some of Scotland's biggest clubs returning to the top flight and bringing bigger crowds with them.

During the 2014-15 season, Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian were all out of the top division, bringing the aggregate attendance in the division down to just over 2m fans.

Over the next four campaigns, with the promotion of all three clubs, that number jumped to 3.6m fans - an 81% increase in just five years.

Furthermore, the fact fans at Ibrox, Tynecastle and Easter Road are often paying more than the league average goes some way to explain why the league's ticket revenue has risen by 92% in the same period.

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