by Steve Hoad
QPR & F1 Are Worlds Apart
I’m sure it has occurred to you all, but I’d never thought deeply about it before, nor drawn any conclusions.
I suppose some of you might may have an inkling that I am slightly optimistic about this coming season – you might have picked up on the odd little hint here and there. But when we get promotion in May, I am unsure quite what life in the Premiership will hold for us.
I imagine there will be the money to keep us there, but the thought of spending silly millyons to mount a serious campaign to qualify for Europe is alien to me. I just can`t see it happening at LR (or any other nearby location we may move to – I think it`s unlikely in the short term, but I thought I`d better mention it) in the near future or even at any other time.
Whilst certain of us are poles apart in our views of the owners, I do think there is some common ground, something on which we all agree. That is “prudence”, although some may shade it to “frugality”. We recognise that the owners have a desire to balance the books, have a self financing club and perhaps, maybe, even “a little bubbly for the shareholders”, but little else.
So, once we have gained promotion, it seems that the prudence with which the club would be managed would preclude any spend to take us into the top, say, seven or eight. Equally, I don`t see us going up, only to come straight back down again, so I guess we will find our niche somewhere in the middle third.
How different is that from the glitzy would of F1? Worlds apart isn`t it? I mean, how many millions does a successful (or even mildly successful) F1 team spend during the course of a season? Forty million? More? That`s light years away from the gritty reality of a prudently managed Premiership football club isn`t it?
The powers that be in F1 don`t seem to do too badly, they`re not short of a few bob. What sort of salaries do they draw? How much of their own personal fortunes do they pour into the team? I stand to be corrected (and there are some exceptions), but I would suggest the equation is heavily loaded to lucrative drawings and low injections. So different from football club ownership where the reverse is true.
So, given a spend of £40m per year, and the view that high profile participants don`t seem to do too badly out of it, where does the money come from to pay for it all?
The car manufacturers, obviously. But is that the whole story? Spectators? TV rights? No, those would go to the F1 organisation, how much of that then finds its way to the teams? Is that enough to fund the £40m plus annual spend habit? I think unlikely. So where does the extra income come from – the difference between participation and success?
Is the answer sponsorship? It certainly helps doesn`t it?
OK, so here`s the proposition. Take a prudently run, self financing, Premiership side, probably lower mid table in view of its frugality. Now add sponsorship – big names, global brands. Given the balanced book foundations of the club, what could you spend that extra (sponsorship) income on?
Silly millyons to mount a serious campaign to qualify for Europe, perhaps?
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