Recently, when the new “Pitch Black” strip was launched, there was a bit of a discussion/debate going on as to where people would be buying the strip from.
I also sensed a lot of anger from some fans, mainly parents who understand that the money going into the club is better than it is going into a sports shop, but who also feel like the club are taking advantage of them.
The obvious choice would be to buy any merchandise directly from the club, so that you know your money stays within the club. Surely that makes sense; if you buy from outside the club, then the profits or at least part of them will go to the outlet that the purchase is made from.
Money going into the club helps to pay for various things, such as players, wages, back room staff, catering and stadium maintenance, to name but a few. If you buy from a third party outlet, what percentage of the profit do the club receive as opposed to the percentage the club see when the same product is bought from the themselves directly ?
I have no idea what the percentage difference is. However, something that I do have an idea of is the fact that there is a ongoing recession, and the majority of people, including myself, have less disposable income than ever.
I don’t know who to contact or how to find out, but I would like to know why the club charge so much more than some other outlets? Is it the case that overheads, such as staff wages, shop maintenance etc, mean that they have no option but to charge more? Is it the case that some outlets buy such a large amount of Nike products that they pay less?
I feel that if the club were to tell us why the new kit is more expensive from them than from a lot of sports shops, then more people wouldn’t be so annoyed about the price difference, and would perhaps be more willing to pay it. When I was doing a bit of research, there seemed to be one outlet in particular that was the cheapest place to buy the Celtic kit from, so I’ve used them to compare prices.
Before I discuss these comparisons, I want to let you know that the reasons for buying from the club (that I opened this article with) are valid reasons and for me, and they are good enough reasons to get to go directly to the club. However, I am 29 years old and have no children so, if at all, I need to buy myself a grand total of one top. The chances are that one top for the season will be enough, if I get the away one then I wont bother with the home one and vice versa.
What if I was a 29 year old guy, or a person of any age for that matter, who has younger kids who like the football? Suddenly there is a pressure on parents to buy the newest kit, regardless of how many times there is one launched. I know it was a while ago now, but I happen to remember one of the things about being a child means that you have no real concept of money.
Now on to the comparisons:
– For me to buy a long sleeved version of the new away top from the club it will cost me £55. From Sports Direct, it’s £47, but I’m sure I could live with the £8 deficit.
– For a parent with two young kids to buy short sleeved versions, it’s going to set them back £140 for one adult and two kids tops. From the sports direct, it’s £107.
I think it’s perhaps time for the people who set prices at the Celtic superstore to understand that not everyone earns a massive wage and thinks nothing of £37. I’m not really sure who this would be but I can only assume that’s a highly paid marketing department who have lost touch with reality and have no idea what the average family has available to spend.
As much as I am happy with what’s happening on the football pitch, I do feel that the club are taking some fans for granted. I think that when there’s so much of a saving to be made from buying from a third party, the club may well have shot themselves in the foot to some degree.