BONGANI MAGASELA | Don't price derby out of reach

Kaizer Chiefs Fans
Kaizer Chiefs Fans
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Football derbies across the face of the globe are used in the main by football executives to bolster existing revenue streams.

To a larger or greater extent, the executives work in close tandem with agents in pursuit of bigger profits from the game.

For example, a player from Eastern Cape is more likely to agree to sign for either Pirates or Chiefs because they are based in cosmopolitan Johannesburg.

In essence, the clubs' sporting merit and the financial rewards become a deciding factor.

The same applies with the spectators. If a fan has nailed his colours to the black and white flag of the Buccaneers, he's more likely to pay an arm and a leg to watch the game against Amakhosi.

Same thing with the Chiefs supporters. The clubs will also not let this opportunity slip; it is an opportunity to exploit their billing for commercial gain.

In partnership with football executives, they will increase the price of tickets. Even the old ladies and aunties who (in the old days) used to sell ginger beer and fat cakes will increase their prices on the day. It is called derby fever, euphemistically. Economics students make reference to the law of supply and demand. What is wrong with that?

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is a big brand at home and on the continent. To this end, it is a beneficiary of television rights. It also benefits from inward tourism when games of this magnitude are taking place.

On the basis of the above, can we then build a cogent argument for the lowering of ticket prices?

This is a big ask because football bears a global footprint. The fluctuating rand does not augur well for the sustenance and participation of our teams at this level. Having said that, it is also true the rate of unemployment in this country is very high.

The critical mass does not afford to patronise these games, they are priced out of affordability.

Sport governing bodies are trying to deal with the vexed question - with the widening gap between the working class and the masses - of how do we bridge the gap of affordability.

In essence, the problem is not germane only to the PSL, it is a global nightmare, a universal truth. It would be proper for SA's football mandarins to learn where this problem is prevalent.

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