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EFL clubs are fearing a 'catastrophic' winter with soaring energy costs and World Cup football on TV

League One and Two clubs fear a 'catastrophic' winter with sky-high energy costs

EFL clubs fear a ‘catastrophic’ winter with sky-high energy costs and World Cup football on TV as they face another crisis after barely surviving the Covid-19 pandemic…as Shrewsbury Town CEO reveals that bills will double

  • League One and League Two clubs face harsh winter with sky-high energy costs
  • Power bills in Shrewsbury are forecast to rise from £100,000 to £200,000
  • The club lost an estimated £2.5m in the two and a half years during Covid
  • CEO Brian Caldwell suspects that the idea of ​​midday games is not the solution

Worrying trends are already taking shape as League One and League Two clubs prepare for the impact of the cost of living crisis, rising energy prices and prepare to move through the World Cup.

There is growing alarm at the lower reaches of the English football pyramid as these challenging factors converge to threaten revenue streams so soon after the devastating impact of the Covid lockdowns.

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Attendance has held up well in the EFL at the start of this season, although clubs like Lincoln City have spotted signs of a decline in additional match-day spending on things like food, merchandise and 50/50 draw tickets.

League One and Two clubs fear a 'catastrophic' winter with sky-high energy costs

League One and Two clubs fear a ‘catastrophic’ winter with sky-high energy costs

There are also fears that the 2022 World Cup which is broadcast daily on television could affect the club's crowds.

There are also fears that the 2022 World Cup which is broadcast daily on television could affect the club’s crowds.

“The trend we’re seeing is that in general the fans still want to watch and support the team,” Lincoln CEO Liam Scully told Sportsmail. “But as money gets tight, they’re looking to spend more carefully on things like 50/50 tickets and food at games.

“Anecdotally, it seems that fans arrive at games later, whether that means staying home longer or staying home. We launched our third jersey a few weeks ago and we think we have three strong jerseys this season and yet that doesn’t correlate to sales.

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Fuel prices mean running costs are skyrocketing for clubs and the findings of a survey by campaign group Fair Game, published earlier this week, found some were prepared to consider moving kick-off times forward. on weekends to save on lighting costs.

“I can’t see the benefit,” said Scully, despite League One clubs like Lincoln anticipating a 200 per cent rise in the cost of lighting, from around £200 to £600 per game. “There’s no compelling economic sense and moving kick-off a couple of hours to one o’clock, and it makes it more difficult for the fans, with a chain of hotels and travel costs.”

Shrewsbury Town CEO Brian Caldwell revealed energy bills appear to double in cost

Shrewsbury Town CEO Brian Caldwell revealed energy bills appear to double in cost

“As always, in football, when you change a piece, there is a domino effect.”

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell told Sportsmail that the money saved by moving kick-off times on weekends is likely to be offset by the higher costs of hiring hotels for more overnight stays at away games.

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In Shrewsbury, annual energy bills are expected to rise from £80,000 to £100,000 last season to £160,000 to £200,000 this season.

‘That would be catastrophic in Leagues One and Two, where match day revenue can represent 40-50 per cent of turnover. The clubs are on their knees, going from one crisis to another.

The Premier League and Championship will go on hiatus for the World Cup, but Leagues One and Two will continue, competing directly with football televised live from Qatar and with the opportunity to broadcast their own games due to the Article 48 temporary suspension of UEFA, transmission. blackout.

“I don’t see any benefit to L1 and L2 in a winter World Cup,” Scully said. “It shows the power in the hands of so few.”

The 72 EFL clubs will discuss these matters when they meet on Thursday.

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