Rangers’ have been hit hard by the absence of fans — but the club has proved itself streetwise in chasing alternate revenue streams.
That is according to finance guru and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Rangers hosted a ‘watchalong‘ party for their Europa League round-of-32 second-leg victory over Royal Antwerp.
The party was hosted by fabled commentator Clive Tyldesley and Ibrox striker Jermaine Defoe, with virtual tickets costing fans between £3.99 and £5.99.
#RangersFC are delighted to announce details of an innovative virtual watch party for our #UEL second leg tie with Royal Antwerp, featuring legendary commentator @CliveTyldesley and first-team striker @IAmJermainDefoe.
All the details 👇
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) February 22, 2021
These sort of events have been a common feature of mid-pandemic football with clubs desperate to replace the lifeblood of matchday income.
Maguire lauded Rangers for capitalising on alternative revenue streams, claiming that watchalong-style experiences could be here to stay.
Asked whether clubs would miss these events, he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “I don’t think the clubs themselves will miss them hugely from a commercial point of view because you will soon have the fans in the ground.
“But it has certainly given clubs food for thought. There will be issues in terms of how this will work with the broadcasters.
“Will they buy into that because it’s an alternative to the traditional broadcasting methods? But clubs are desperate to find new means of generating revenue to try and replace the money that they’ve lost as a result of Covid.
“Rangers play in Scotland where they don’t have a massive TV deal and have to rely on matchday income more than most, which is why I imagine they are pushing this stuff pretty hard.
“I don’t see why clubs won’t continue things of this nature in a post-pandemic environment.”
After progressing through the round-of-32 with a 9-5 aggregate victory over Antwerp, Rangers were drawn against Slavia Prague in the last-16.
Steven Gerrard’s side exited Europe at the round-of-16 stage in 2019-20, losing 4-1 on aggregate to Bayer Leverkusen.