Summer sales of season tickets have been one of the primary and most reliable sources of revenue for Cypriot football clubs, especially the ones with a large fanbase for quite some time now. The coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent social distancing measures that have been implemented threaten to disrupt this source of income for clubs on the island.
Apoel Nicosia, who put almost €2 million from season ticket sales into their coffers last year, have essentially broken even this season, with a minor loss of €147,000 being recorded. This has reportedly been caused by financial burdens generated in previous seasons being addressed in recent months.
However, they have stated that they will be affected by any restrictions to ticket availability.
In an interview to Super Sport FM, Apoel press officer Nektarios Petevinos said that “we are aware of the proposal for allowing stadiums to be filled up to 33 per cent of their maximum capacity”.
“Our fans must know that season ticket revenue is a big part of our annual income. Thirty-three per cent of GSP Stadium capacity amounts to 5,800 fans. Our season ticket figure last year exceeded 7,000 tickets. Next season will be an extraordinary one”, Petevinos added.
Meanwhile, at Anorthosis Famagusta’s Antonis Papadopoulos stadium, a 33 per cent cap on capacity will mean a maximum attendance of 3,376 people. This is lower than their season ticket figure of 4,200 recorded in 2018-2019 as well as their 2019-2020 figure of 3,600 tickets.
Anorthosis have submitted a proposal to the CFA which will ban away fans from attending games at the Antonis Papadopoulos next season, in turn allowing Anorthosis season ticket holders to utilise all of the stadium’s stands.
The other Famagusta club, Nea Salamina, have stated that they will soon be rolling out their season ticket pricing schemes for next season and that they will not be issuing game-by-game tickets at all. This means that next season’s games can be attended exclusively by season ticket holders.
The two Limassol clubs, Apollon and AEL, use the 12,840 seat Tsirion stadium as their home ground. This is broken down to 6,540 seats for the east stand and 6,300 seats for the west stand. Any reduction to 33 per cent will result in a maximum capacity of 2,180 and 2,100 in each stand respectively.
Meanwhile, AEK Larnaca’s AEK Arena stadium has a capacity of 7,500 for home fans and 720 for away fans. The proposed cap would see the above figures drop to 2,260 and 200 tickets respectively.
There have been currently unsubstantiated rumours that the CFA will enforce a 500 season ticket limit on clubs for next season and that the customary 10 per cent ticket allocation for away fans will remain in place regardless of the reduced number of total tickets.
It remains to be seen whether this is true or not. The CFA will provide more details after a meeting which is scheduled to take place on Thursday or Friday of this week.