Today, St Mirren are asking their supporters to volunteer to pay a £30 one-off “levy” to offset the costs of empty seats at their ground. Please note the use of the word “volunteer.” They aren’t forcing their fans to do this, just hoping that they will.
I think that’s rather optimistic. We’re firmly in the grip of cost of living crisis Hell now, and clubs making such demands on their fans would be outrageous, but asking them to do it voluntarily is a strategy I don’t see paying off much.
But you know what? This is the right approach. St Mirren fans are the ones who have explicitly demanded this, and they have two options having done so; they can see the club’s revenues fall and therefore what the manager gets to spend fall in return, or they can make up the shortfall by putting the money back into the club themselves.
Those are the choices. Those are the only choices. Why should the directors have to make up that shortfall when their preferred option would be to sell tickets to us? Why should they be expected to cover the costs of all those empty seats when there are customers out there willing to buy them … but the club’s own supporters won’t allow that?
This is the tyranny of the mob, and I find it incredible that Ibrox fan groups are wailing about this when their own moaning to their own board resulted in restrictions for us. There is a very good argument for saying that their own behaviour opened the floodgates here, and so I have zero sympathy for them and they can bitch into the mirror.
St Mirren’s fans will not, in any great numbers, pay that £30. And since the directors have made it clear that they aren’t going to make up the shortfall it is going to come out of the manager’s budget and that’s the reality of it.
Their fan groups got their way.
But one way or another, it is going to cost them.