Fixture clashes with rugby

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Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Roman Mike on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:29 am

Does anybody know of any examples of (UK) football clubs which have managed to persuade the FA and the rugby authorities to avoid fixture clashes for their respective teams?  

Clearly, this is technically possible as some clubs ground share.  We are looking for examples in which there is no ground share but still the fixtures are designed not to clash.  Exeter? Northampton? Leicester?

We (1000BC) are exploring the feasibility of making a case for this for Bath City / Bath Rugby. Some initial analysis indicates that clashes cost us >100 on the gate - i.e. ~20% currently.  In parallel, we are also investigating what representations City have made in the past.  But the focus of this plea is to understand how (if?) other teams have been successful and learn from them.

Thoughts?
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by comrade powell on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:21 pm

What you need to be targeting are any cities which are similar to that in Bath - ie the football club is not seen as the major attraction. I wouldn't imagine that's the case in those 3 towns you listed.

The problem we have is that our fixtures are released before Bath Rugby's. They are never going to ask the RFU to ensure they are away when we're at home.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Ashley on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:38 pm

Exeter have a bit of an advantage in that their ground is right in the city centre but the rugby ground is on the outskirts.

I can't think of any other examples from rugby union but there are couple of possibles in league - Salford & Warrington.

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Ashley on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:40 pm

As soon as I'd posted that a city where the rugby are Premier league and the football club at this level came to me - Gloucester. Wonder if they've ever tried to get alternate home games.

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by comrade powell on Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:06 pm

No, they just found an alternative town to play in!

And are 1 in 5 of our supporter base really Rec regulars?
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Manchester Romans on Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:23 pm

For Gloucester see Worcester too.
I recall that when the Rovers ground share was announced they said they would seek to alternate their fixtures with Bath rugby but i'm not sure if anything came of it.

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Roman Mike on Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:15 pm

comrade powell wrote:What you need to be targeting are any cities which are similar to that in Bath - ie the football club is not seen as the major attraction. I wouldn't imagine that's the case in those 3 towns you listed.

The problem we have is that our fixtures are released before Bath Rugby's. They are never going to ask the RFU to ensure they are away when we're at home.

Thx comrade
I take your point re. the examples. Just random thoughts on my part to get the juices flowing.

To your last point...
This aspect cannot be a blocker or ground sharing would be impossible.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Roman Mike on Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:22 pm

comrade powell wrote:No, they just found an alternative town to play in!

And are 1 in 5 of our supporter base really Rec regulars?

The analysis that Ash has conducted over 2 seasons would indicate that the effect can be >100.
it is possible (likely?) that the analysis identifies a correlation rather than a causal effect.

I'd suggest that this is the 'casual' end of the fan base who, having decided that they will attend a sporting event will opt for rugby if there is a choice. Clearly, it won't be the same 100 people every time.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by comrade powell on Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:02 pm

Roman Mike wrote:
comrade powell wrote:
The problem we have is that our fixtures are released before Bath Rugby's. They are never going to ask the RFU to ensure they are away when we're at home.

To your last point...
This aspect cannot be a blocker or ground sharing would be impossible.

True, but as most (all?) rugby/football shares are at the football ground, I assume the RFU are asked to ensure that fixtures work around the already published football ones. It isn't going to happen, but if we did a ground share at the Rec presumably we would have to overcome this problem.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:21 pm

If there was ever a groundshare between the clubs, the rugby fixtures would be moved. I don't want to be pessimistic but they aren't going to ask the RFU to do it now.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by BenE on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:44 pm

Have we ever played on a Friday night. In some respects I think this is a better time to play football.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:52 pm

Tranmere used to do that so that they didn't clash with Liverpool or Everton. They used to pick up a fair few of the supporters of whichever team was playing away on the Saturday. I am not sure what happened to that. Maybe the paucity of Saturday 3pm kick offs at that level negated the need or opportunity.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:56 pm

BenE wrote:Have we ever played on a Friday night. In some respects I think this is a better time to play football.

We had a couple of Southern League games and one against Newport in Conference South on Friday nights to avoid clashes with England games.

The Newport one was well attended as they brought loads. Can't remember the crowds against Hitchin and Banbury standing out much.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Ashley on Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:34 pm

Banbury was 718, we were second in the league (2/9/05).

Newport was 1,619, we were 3rd in Conf South having just got promoted (7/9/07)

I can't find the Hitchin one

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:55 pm

Wow, higher than I expected for Banbury. All I remember is a depressing defeat.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by SteveBradley on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:05 pm

I would love to be proven wrong, but I can't imagine the RFU going out of its way to alter fixtures for a Premier Rugby Team that attracts 14,000 to its games in order to suit a non-league football club that attracts 500. They probably have a bit of a headache as it is trying to arrange fixtures where they HAVE to coordinate football and rugby (due to groundshares), without willingly adding to their workload on that.

So without a groundshare I can't see it happening.

With Nick Blofeld involved with the Bid, he would be the obvious person to speak with on the idea.

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Ashley on Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:52 pm

A Friday night might be worth another shot, early in the season with decent weather might attract different fans for something to do after work

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by comrade powell on Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:15 pm

Unless things have changed, I believe both clubs have to agree to a change from Saturday afternoon. Not such an issue for Newport, but can you imagine Chelmsford wanting to hit the M25 and M4 on a Friday afternoon? I know I would give a wide berth to travelling up there at the same time.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by yuffie on Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:11 pm

Yes, it would probably be more practical in the Southern League ... oh.

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:26 am

yuffie wrote:Yes, it would probably be more practical in the Southern League ... oh.
Absolutely: home or away to St Neots, Kettering, King's Lynn, Dunstable, Cambridge City would be dead easy on a Friday night

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by OliverH on Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:33 am

Am I correct in understanding then that there are two possible ways of avoiding a clash:

1. Convince RFU to schedule Bath Rugby games accordingly (snowball's chance)

2. Convince other teams on a fixture-by-fixture basis to move matches to a Friday or Sunday once we've seen the BCFC & BR fixture lists

[the latter still leaves open the question of whether people would go to two sports matches on consecutive days - the ideal would still be alternate weekends.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by yuffie on Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:09 am

Sir Ged Roddy wrote:
yuffie wrote:Yes, it would probably be more practical in the Southern League ... oh.
Absolutely: home or away to St Neots, Kettering, King's Lynn, Dunstable, Cambridge City would be dead easy on a Friday night

Razz If the worse happens are we getting put in an East Anglian sub-division?

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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by comrade powell on Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:17 pm

OliverH wrote:Am I correct in understanding then that there are two possible ways of avoiding a clash:

1. Convince RFU to schedule Bath Rugby games accordingly (snowball's chance)

2. Convince other teams on a fixture-by-fixture basis to move matches to a Friday or Sunday once we've seen the BCFC & BR fixture lists

[the latter still leaves open the question of whether people would go to two sports matches on consecutive days - the ideal would still be alternate weekends.

And there's also the issue of whether the regular supporter wants to go to matches on a Friday night. Even if there's a chance of attracting some of the rugby fans, it's not much use if they simply replace those who prefer Saturdays. A Friday evening in September or April is one thing - our gates usually drop for evening matches in winter.
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by BenE on Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:34 pm

what about the supporters that attend neither football nor rugby because they work Saturdays?
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Re: Fixture clashes with rugby

Post by comrade powell on Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:42 pm

Well they are not part of our regular supporter base! My argument is that while a one off Friday fixture may increase the gate, it's doubtful that repeating it long term will increase our average. I think it's great that there are initiatives to attract people who don't make a habit of usually coming to Twerton, but our number one priority should be keeping existing fans happy (or make them happier!). If there really are the number of rugby supporters mentioned above who are occasionally coming, fine, but I think it will be very difficult to get them to come along regularly when BathRugby are not playing. I would hope another group being targeted are football fans in Bath who never come to TP and those floating City fans who may only come to a handful of matches each season.
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