I’m sure plenty of you saw the recent article I did based on a report coming out of Hull around iFollow figures for this week’s fixture.
Hull Live reported that 5559 households tuned in to watch the game with 2790 from Lincoln. With it being an away fixture, every single Imp paid for the privilege, and their local media reported that we earned £23,000 from the fixture. As it was printed in local media, I assumed it to be correct.
The usual deal, as I’m sure I’ve touched upon before, is this. Each club agrees on a number of fans that might travel to the game. For instance, we would speak to Hull and agree they would fill our away end (1,900), so we keep anything they sell up to that figure. On top of that, the revenue is theirs. They then agree we might take 1,500 there, and anything we make over that, we keep. That’s the usual agreement, but I assumed that with their media claiming we made £23k, that in this instance we had kept what we sold at their place and they would keep what they sold when they come to ours.
I have now spoke to the club and confirmed that was not the agreement, and Hull’s local media have got their facts wrong. The club did NOT make £23k from the fixture, because Hull City take a mutually agreed amount from the game. That number is confidential between the two clubs, but one would assume it was in the region of 1500, which would give us around 700 x £8.33, rather than a full £23k.
Obviously, on my part, apologies for taking what local media said at face value and not digging deeper. However, my chat was interesting as it revealed a couple of nuggets about iFollow.
For instance, the best fixtures for us are away games where we wouldn’t expect to take many fans. For instance, would we take many to Crewe on a Tuesday night? A couple of hundred maybe, tops? If that is the agreed figure, and we sell 2,000 iFollow passes, then the Imps would indeed net a five-figure sum that we wouldn’t under normal circumstances. In a season of financial hardship and struggle, it is a little bit of economic positivity.
Also, I’m told cup games are split 50/50, so the EFL Trophy game at Hull would have been a decent little earner for us. Of course, with those not being included in the season ticket offer, they’re worth money wherever we are drawn. Finally, if we are on Sky, there is a flat fee to the home side, and a smaller one to the away side, which compensates for the loss of iFollow revenue. So, when we met Peterborough, we took a figure thought to be around £30,000, and when we went to Gillingham a figure around a third of that. still, it is all money coming into the club that we wouldn’t have under usual circumstances.
I hope this clears up the iFollow debate, and I promise not to take the word of local media at face value again (I would put a smiley face here, and obviously I have to clarify this isn’t a dig at our own local printed media).