Aleeeee Real Murcia .....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paying The Price : Kike

Kike, Don Quixote del Gol, signed for Middlesboro last week in a deal worth anywhere between 2 and 4 million euros depending on which publication you read. He goes with everyone’s best wishes; he always gave 100% and behaved impeccably. No doubt his departure was largely due to Real’s urgent need for cash – our survival depends on sales like this of player coming through the clubs ranks.

How is it though, that Spanish segunda clubs simply cannot afford to keep a players of Kike’s quality, yet sides in a similar position in England can afford to outlay millions of euros for their services?

I’ve talked before about the LFP and how the cannot hide their heads in the sand and blame inept owners whilst ignoring their own bad management. But there is something cultural here – just a view of the incoming funds for similar clubs makes stark reading. How can they afford Kike? Simples.

My season ticket behind the goal on the Fondo Sur at the New Condomina, without any concessions, would cost just €165. On Middlesboro FC’s website, a similar season ticket, behind the goal, costs £430. At today’s Exchange rate that’s €537,50. More that 3 times the price at Real Murcia – I’m interested to know from Boro fans if people complain bitterly at this price level.

Of course we have to take into account the cost of living difference between Spain and the UK. I would say that Middlesboro and Murcia are similar in that they are not wealthy areas of their countries.  A current cost of living comparison between Spain and the UK reads as follows (consumer Price index at http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp ):

UK: 103,14
Spain: 75,68

So a Real Murcia season ticket at €165 calculated with cost of living difference is the equivalent of a Boro fan paying €225.

165,00 ÷ 75,68 = 2,18
2,18 x 103,14 = 224,84

A Boro season ticket at €537,50 again calculated with cost of living difference is the equivalent to a Real fan paying €394.

537,50 ÷ 103,14 = 5,21
5,21 x 75,68 = 394,29

Boro had an average home attendance of 12,505. Real Murcia 7,064. Fact is that Boro fans pay 76% more (after cost of living adjustment), and attend in higher numbers.

Murcia city population was 422,000 in 2013.
Middlesboro population  (2011 census) 138,000. However Teesside population was more like 376,000 in the same census.

Adjusted for population (let’s take Teesside population):

Average 12,505 is like Real Murcia having an average attendance of 14,030.

422,000 ÷ 376,000 = 1,122
12,505 x 1,122 = 14,030

Average 7,064 is like Boro having an average of just 6,287.

376,000 ÷ 422000 = 0,89
7,064 x 0,89 = 6,287

TV money plays a big part in the economy of any club. I can’t find details, but can suppose that Real’s money incoming in this concept would be maximum around €0,5m. Championship teams get £2,3m (€2,87m) not taking into consideration any parachute payments.

So Boro can afford Kike because:

·      Their fans are willing to pay a much higher price
·      They attend in far greater numbers.
·      Their earnings in TV money are almost 6 times Real’s.


We are back to football culture again. In Spain outside of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona everything else is ridiculed. Football has to be dirt-cheap and even then people don’t go. TV money is badly distributed. It is a vicious circle. Segunda and most of Primera can’t hold on to stars – they go abroad or to Madrid or Barcelona, the level goes down, less people attend, more economic woes, and round and round. Sad state of affairs.

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