From the Boardroom
Chief Operating Officer Chris Pearlman brings fans up to date on events and progress made off the pitch at Swansea City in today's matchday edition of Jack Magazine.
As most of you are now aware, we recently reached the parameters of an agreement with Swansea City Council and the Ospreys for the football club to take control of the Liberty Stadium.
We are currently in the process of finalising the paperwork on the arrangement. I’ve been asked many questions about the deal since the announcement, and thought this could be a good place to publicly address some of the most frequently asked and important questions:
Why is this important to the club?
We’ve been at a competitive disadvantage compared to other Premier League clubs because, under the previous stadium agreement, we have missed out on important revenue streams from the stadium that other teams who own their stadium enjoy. This includes sponsorship revenue (from stadium sponsorships), advertising revenue (from all signage seen in-stadium above the pitch), concession sales revenue, parking revenue, non-matchday catering revenue from conferences and meetings at the stadium and potentially naming rights revenue. If we can generate revenue from these areas, we will be able to reinvest it back into the playing squad, allowing us to stay more competitive on the pitch.
What are the parameters of the agreement?
The football club will pay the city council £300,000 per year in rent, along with 10 per cent of any naming rights revenue we are able to generate. As part of the deal we are also committing to fund two 3G pitches every five years in Swansea. The club is also responsible for stadium maintenance and expenses.
What if we are not in the Premier League?
If the club were to be relegated, we would not have to pass along any naming rights revenue to the city in years we were not in the Premier League and we would also be able to 'pause' investing in 3G pitches until we are back in the league. We hope to avoid this clause at all costs!
What are the club’s plans for stadium expansion?
We are now taking a close look at stadium expansion. We play in the second smallest stadium in the Premier League, and we haven’t raised ticket prices in five years, so our matchday revenues are near the bottom of the league. We’ve been in the very fortunate position of having sold out of our season ticket packages for a number of years in a row. We know there are a lot of fans who want season tickets but have been unable to buy them because of lack of availability. We also have heard from a number of current season ticket holders who have an interest in increasing the number of season tickets they buy to include seats for family members and friends. We are currently doing a detailed analysis of interest level in the community for both general seating as well as hospitality. A crucial element driving this decision will be the required investment levels and corresponding returns on that investment. We also recognise the league we play in will impact the number of tickets we sell each season. Put simply, we want to make sure we add the right number of seats, the right amount of hospitality, and to do it as cost effectively as possible. We should have this research completed over the next few months.
How will this impact supporters?
We also view the stadium expansion process as an opportunity to address the fan experience around our matches. Wider concourses, better and more diverse food and drink options, a more compelling fan zone, a supporter memorial garden and better internal circulation are examples of areas we are going to take a close look at. We recognise getting to and from the stadium is more difficult for some supporters than it should be, and that adding more seats will only make that process more challenging, so we are exploring many potential solutions to ease that burden. You may see a 'travel plan survey' in the coming weeks and we would be grateful for your feedback as part of it.
We will be certain to share updates about our expansion plans as we get further information.