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Norwegian company TicketCo continues to build its profile in UK market

While some traditions stay, football does continue to change in the modern world.

One area of the game which has undertaken a rapid technological transformation is the method in which supporters make purchases.

The technology available gives clubs new decisions to make, which would have been unheard of several years. For example, the choice to operate cashless stadiums.

Norwegian company TicketCo is embracing the idea of going cashless. The company works with clubs to increase revenue at stadiums by maximising sales and reducing overall costs.

This is all done via its payment platform which gives supporters easy access to purchase tickets, merchandise as well as food and beverages. Transactions can be made anywhere whether its online, inside the stadium or at the turnstiles. The scanning app technology cuts queues, which is increasingly important in this day and age.

TicketCo entered the UK market in 2017 and has partnered with clubs including Wycombe Wanderers, Kilmarnock, Macclesfield Town and Solihull Moors.

Benefits of going cashless include the reduction of time for sales, a lower security risk and a lower cost. Better data is also captured by the technology, which clubs can use.

The platform is available on both iOS and Android devices and gives organisers the chance to advertise offers before events occur.

Wycombe Wanderers have reported a 57% increase in supporters purchasing tickets online since they partnered with TicketCo.

Mark Palmer of Wycombe Wanderers told FC Business: “The TicketCo platform is fantastic and makes purchases so simple. It makes buying tickets so simple online, via mobile phones, the website and Facebook. It enables us to provide a better service to supporters and is helping the club grow.

“We’ve had a lot of success with the new TicketCo platform when it comes to fans buying tickets quickly and simply online or via the app. The cashless solution at the bars was the next step in our strategy and not only does it improve the experience for supporters, it also helps us process more transactions, so it is a win, win.”

It is a similar situation at Macclesfield Town where fans have gone from buying tickets in cash to online. National League side Solihull Moors partnered with TicketCo to help the club prepare for future growth.

“TicketCo has ticked all the boxes for us; a quick and trouble-free implementation that was easy to use and demonstrated immediate commercial benefit on increased sales, cash handling and cash flow,” said Chief Executive Calvin Barnett.

“Throughout last season it proved itself time and time again especially in our huge FA Cup and end of season games. It is fair to say without the platform we would have struggled to cope.

“Having now introduced merchandising to the platform we enter this season looking to make significantly more use of the features and functionality it provides to drive not just commercial revenues but a better all-round buying experience for all involved.”

UK Country Manager at TicketCo, David Kenny, said various clubs are buying into the advantages of the cashless technology.

He claimed: “More and more clubs are directly benefitting from the upsides of our cashless technology both in terms of improving revenue and the fan experience and we’re looking forward to further UK growth.”

That growth seems to be on its way as TicketCo continues to invest in its technology to support transitions to cashless stadiums.

“Next season we are due to introduce a card- reader that is so robust it even runs off-line if the network is down,” added David. “The technology will also provide a payment solution that eliminates the need to top-up apps and prevents the risk of customer data loss.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Labor set to deliver infrastructure upgrades to Northern NSW Football clubs

NNSWF

Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) is set to welcome nine promised infrastructure upgrades from the Labor Government following the party’s win at the Federal election.

The commitments are a result of NNSWF’s strategy to lobby Federal MPs as part of its key strategic priority of Places to Play, as well as the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Legacy plan.

The commitments are from Labor candidates standing for election on Saturday.

“We thank sitting MPs and candidates who have made pledges to support football within their electorate,” NNSWF CEO David Eland said in a statement via the organisation.

“One of our priorities as part of our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan is ‘Places to Play’. So these commitments are not a coincidence. They are reflective of the work NNSWF and Member Zone staff have done over a number of years.”

NNSWF launched a comprehensive Facilities Audit in 2018 to capture data on more than 200 football facilities across northern NSW. A priority projects list was established in conjunction with clubs to advocate with all levels of government.

The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy was then released in 2020. From this, NNSWF developed seven Local Infrastructure Strategies consisting of data from the audit and outlined a strategic direction to cater for the increase in participation based on five pillars:

  • Planning for growth and demand
  • Improve existing venue capacity
  • Inclusive football facilities
  • Homes of football
  • Partnerships and investment

“Football is the largest team participation sport in NSW with our current rapid growth certain to continue,” Eland continued.

“We needed to plan for the future and identify the needs of our sport for those that currently play and for those that want to but can’t.

“We identified at the time that there could have been as many as 30,000 additional players across NSW that could have played in 2019 if they had access to a football facility.

“What we are doing is ensuring that football has the infrastructure and facilities to continue to grow into the future and players will have access to quality places to play wherever they are in our region.”

The clubs set to receive much-needed infrastructure upgrades following Labor’s election win are:

  • Wallsend FC, Wallsend DDC ($286,000 for ground improvements, including irrigation on both fields)
  • Newcastle Olympic FC ($625,000 for amenity improvements and a new grandstand)
  • Maitland FC ($2,000,000 to upgrade lighting and to develop new amenities and a function centre)
  • Valentine FC ($184,000 for amenities upgrades)
  • Dudley United Senior FC ($320,000 for gender neutral amenities upgrade, disability access and toilets)
  • Garden Suburbs FC ($400,000 for female friendly changerooms)
  • Singleton Strikers FC (3,000,000 for upgrades to three full fields, multi-use court, upgraded amenities and carpark)
  • Edgeworth FC ($65,000 for fencing, completion of lighting project and completion of dish drainage)
  • Thornton JFC ($150,000 for lighting upgrade to two fields and new lighting to MiniRoos area)

This week’s football funding news ahead of election

Australia’s Federal election commences on Saturday, with the final rounds of funding and promises rolled out across the week.

Both major parties once again made their commitments across various states, both on and off the pitch, and more broadly for issues surrounding community and national sport.

Tasmania and New South Wales will both benefit further from the Morrison Government if re-elected, while other communities and broadcasters were given promises by Labor.

Labor

The Labor Party will commit $2.5M to upgrade the Kariong Sporting Precinct if it wins government on May 21. Based in the NSW suburb of Kariong – just west of Gosford – the upgrades will aim to make the precinct more inclusive.

While the Precinct is host to many different sporting clubs and organisations, it is also home to Kariong United FC.

Announced by Candidate for Robertson, Dr Gordon Reid, and Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, it is an addition to the state-wide focus on investing in female football.

While not funding, Labor leader Anthony Albanese pledged to support local TV and free sporting events, including football events, if elected.

The Labor Party will review anti-siphoning laws if elected to ensure that major sporting events are available for free instead of behind paywalls of streaming services.

Liberal

The Liberal Party announced on Tuesday that it will commit $3.5 million towards the redevelopment of Valley Road if elected after May 21.

Announced by Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce, the funding would allow Devonport Strikers to complete Stage One of its redevelopment of Valley Road, including increased seating, lighting and pitch upgrades, as well as refurbished clubroom and kitchen facilities.

The funding would be in addition to the State Government funding committed to Valley Road to give the venue the best chance of being selected to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup basecamps.

Meanwhile in NSW, it was announced on Monday that $3 million would go to upgrading sporting facilities at Harrie Dening Football Centre and Prince Edward Park in Kareela

The proposed funding will help deliver an equaliser for the Sutherland Shire football community in a state-wide commitment to female football.

The equaliser campaign is designed to support grassroots for clubs to deliver new and improved female friendly facilities.

The funding to Prince Edward Park will go towards raising the oval, sports field lighting, improved car park and playground and fitness space renewals.

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