Could Watford Survive Without The Fans?

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by NemoNemo, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. NemoNemo

    NemoNemo Reservist

    Off the back of the supporters trust letter and the unrest among us about the failed promises spouted by Gino & Duxberry about automatic promotion, what if they just ignored us altogether, even banished fans completely... could we or any football club survive without fans?

    What does fans offer financially to a club nowadays?
    Would we still get TV revenue as the broadcasters would know they would only get half the viewers/subscribers?
    Would players want to come here knowing they would have nobody to feed their egos?

    In theory I would say yes a club could survive without fans but it would be a toxic environment and a club that players, managers and staff alike would avoid unless using as a stepping stone to further their careers at other clubs.
  2. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    No. I think if somebody said I could never go to a game again I would stop supporting the club. I know there are many on here who don't go to games for various reasons but for most people it's the enjoyment of matchdays. It's the main reason I have fallen out of love with football over the last few months. I love going to football, probably more to do with meeting up with a group of fella's that I've been going to football with for many years. Take that away and it's finished for me
  3. Dorset-Orn

    Dorset-Orn Academy Graduate

    I think probably half the teams in 4 divisions would go pop, but also the gulf between Prem and Championship would get wider than ever and we would see awful sides promoted, leading eventually to a 12 team Prem.?

    Re the clubs lack of comms etc, I reckon January became a nightmare because the club were trying to get Sarr to Liverpool before having a little spend. It didn't get over the line and so we couldn't spend. Trouble is GP is never going to come out and admit it....
    SkylaRose likes this.
  4. Not without the revenue fans bring, not as a professional football team. It could survive as an amateur team way down the football pyramid, so technically yes it could.
  5. Carpster

    Carpster Reservist

    Pretty much with you but it's a complete impossibility that I could stop supporting the club. It's just soulless watching games with no fans.
    WillisWasTheWorst and SkylaRose like this.
  6. Lloyd

    Lloyd Reservist

    Who woke that lot up? Can you post a copy of the letter or point me in the direction to where I can see it? I could do with a laugh
    Cthulhu likes this.
  7. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    What is the point of any football, or indeed any sport, without fans? It just becomes a form of exercise which you might as well do in your local park.

    I've stopped watching football since fans were excluded.
    Dorset-Orn and SkylaRose like this.
  8. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    Not a chance. Look how clubs are suffering atm due to big gate receipt losses. Look at what happened to Bury, Bolton and almost happening to Derby. Bury and Bolton had fans then, but that was more down to bad board management and executive spending beyond financial means.

    Until we get this bloody virus under a controlled level and at least 75% of the world is vaccinated, nothing will change. Even when fans begin to trickle back in, seeing a full stadium is a long way off. I would live to be proved wrong, but I walked past the Vic yesterday afternoon and just remembered queuing up for a program etc.

    Almost brings a tear.
    Cthulhu and Dorset-Orn like this.
  9. Cassetti's Beard

    Cassetti's Beard First Team

    Ignore the fans? They've been doing that for a while and will continue to do so, probably won't change unless there's some unrest once the stadium re-opens, even then I imagine the more tame element of our fanbase will overwhelm and outnumber the grumbles and angry keyboard tippy tapping. Booing like you're at a pantomime will have a minimal effect, or my favourite, as sometimes heard at a Watford game in the past 'BOOO ******* BOOOO'

    I don't think players or managers give a **** as long as they're getting paid and the club they play for is at a decent level.

    Not quite what you asked but as much as everyone on social media moans about the club, as soon as the stadium re-opens and as long as we stay in the top 6 the stadium will be full for the rest of the season.
    Dorset-Orn likes this.
  10. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    They want the money fans bring, and like a positive atmosphere on match days.....apart from that we can do one as far as the board are concerned.

    Now we're not allowed in the stadiums, we are largely redundant and a pain in a backside for the owner.
  11. Markoa$

    Markoa$ Reservist

    I would imagine that our revenue for tickets alone probably falls between £9-14mil each season. Then throw in all the food and drinks bought, your probably looking at another £2.5-4mil. Then merchandise and programs bought each game, guessing that’s another £10-15mil per season. So just by having fans there, we probably generate anywhere between £21-33mil a season approx.

    So no.
  12. Dorset-Orn

    Dorset-Orn Academy Graduate

    Looking back now I think they should have closed all team sports down completely and cancelled last season.
    Sports and cr@p TV programming is hoped to give us something to watch and cheer about from home. (not sure how many footy fans have anything to be happy about most match days tho.?)

    I hate TV football, I only watch WFC on TV but not other games.
    It's no real excuse but whilst we are all isolating and staying safe, footballers had to get back to playing, and I am sure most didn't want to, preferring to stay home with their families. That's the main reason we got relegated in my mind. (yes we're we're poor but the performances were half hearted).
    SkylaRose and Cassetti's Beard like this.
  13. ITK platypus

    ITK platypus Reservist

    Football without fans may feel like a poor facsimile of the real thing, but it's still a hell of a lot better than no football at all. It's a reason to look forward to the weekend. There really is very little else to do at the moment for most of us. This awful period in the world has happened to coincide with an awful time on the pitch for Watford, which couldn't have come at a worse time.

    I was one of the lucky ones who managed to get to a game in the Vic in December (inexplicable as that seems now) and it really did give me the taste for the real thing. I went to the Brentford game which had 2 penalties, a red card and a disallowed goal. It was great and I miss having that every week.

    But it will be back. And it may not be that much longer to wait.
  14. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    Its a lot less -the 2019 accounts which also reflect the cup run has match day income and hospitality at £9m (it was £8m the year before).

    We had commercial income-sponsorship and merchandising income of £13m (£10m the year before).

    Compare all that to the TV money £124m in that year
    Jumbolina likes this.
  15. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    While I don’t disagree with this, why did it affect our players more than those of West Ham, or Villa, say?
    Dorset-Orn and Chumlax like this.
  16. IRB

    IRB THe artist formally know as ImRonBurgundy?

    They're doing their best to find out it seems
    RMT79 likes this.
  17. Markoa$

    Markoa$ Reservist

    I literally said it’s probably between £21-33mil.

    The figures you just quoted add up to £22mil. So my assumption was spot on.

    Edit: just to put it in a different light. That revenue adds up to 14 players earning £30k p/w

    So it’s a huge chunk of money we need.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  18. Dorset-Orn

    Dorset-Orn Academy Graduate

    Good point and I didn't allude to it, but the answer is: "the same reason that our players have been mainly hapless and half hearted This season so far. " (whatever that is/was)
    It's a theme with us for 2 years now and I think we are all scratching our heads as to why we have been like it.
    We've been blaming managers (x4) arrogant players, useless players, lazy flare players, GP, but I guess we'll never know..... until maybe TD leaves (joke)
    Keighley likes this.
  19. nascot

    nascot First Team

    It's been mentioned before but it was the best and worst time to be relegated from Premier League. The Championship is at its weakest for years with clubs unable to afford to strengthen and us (supposedly) strong after relegation. On the flip side the loss of all gate income coupled with missing out on Premier League cash will cripple us.
  20. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    Sponsorship is a large part of that commercial income and is (initially) unrelated to what fans pay over-we have shirt sponsors (Sportsbetio now paying £7m pa) plus kit supplier and then a sleeve sponsor. Of course we get income from the merchandising of kit sales to fans but thats already included.

    I would also use 2018 as a better proxy for income that a one off Cup final year

    You are right in that the revenue be it £11m or £18m or £22m could well be used to help pay players but it doesn't cover the other annual cost of "other expenses" -which were £38m in 2019 up from £30m in 2018. Other expenses exclude wages-what they do include is not revealed but all signed off in the audit as cash spent.
    Jumbolina and Markoa$ like this.
  21. Markoa$

    Markoa$ Reservist

    Yes I understand that, and you and I are on the same page, but the original question was, can watford survive without fans?

    Bottom line is no, because it equals about £20mil per year without the fans. With all the other outgoings, we’re already down £20mil because of no fans. As long as fans are not allowed back in the stadium, Watford would not survive as a club. We rely heavily on the income match day brings.
  22. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    Premier league yes, any other league no. The championship TV deal is worth £5m, so we’d that plus any sponsorship revenue and that’s it. It wouldn’t even cover the chuckle brothers wages.
    Markoa$ likes this.
  23. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Could Watford Survive Without The Fans?

    If they carry on the way they have been they might have to.
  24. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    I don't think it did. What affected us more was that our head coach was really quite sick and that appeared to create a vacuum. Doucoure gave an interview saying that during lockdown the players received little communication from the club and no-one was organising joint fitness sessions or anything like that. We were so undercooked those first few games back, we were visibly less fit than our opponents.
    Keighley likes this.
  25. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    Plus I don’t think the players actually thought the season would restart, especially as our captain was one of the most vocal against it happening. I think that’s a difficult mindset to reverse.

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