By Dan Palmer
EFL clubs met yesterday to discuss the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Top of the agenda was a discussion surrounding the possibility of moving the kick-off times to 1pm to avoid using the floodlights.
Costs of these lights recently surged from around £48 an hour to £300 an hour. The meeting included fan led opinion, with concerns being voiced over earlier kick offs leading to travel issues, particularly for long distance travelling away fans.
This of course is not only an issue for EFL clubs, but also grassroots and non-league clubs. We spoke to Phill Brown, manager of Bournemouth FC, who told us how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting his non-league club: “It’s affected the club really badly, six months ago everything was a lot cheaper.”
Phill was then asked if his ability to manage the club has been affected, to which he replied: “It affects me as manager as sponsorship is harder to get and we need sponsorship to stay in the league.” Phill Brown also stated how he is confident that the chairman “has something up his sleeve” to help the club through these challenging times.
It is not only the clubs themselves being affected by this crisis, but fan attendance at games has also seen a decrease, as travel and ticket prices become too expensive for many to afford.
EFL clubs have discussed lowering the ticket prices, to encourage people to support their local club throughout the crisis. One key outcome from the meeting is that clubs accept there is unlikely to be a unanimous agreement, and clubs are expected to all take their own approach to help both their fans, and themselves.
It remains to be seen if one exact approach can be agreed on, but it is unquestionably challenging times for both EFL and non-league clubs.