Can clubs diversify?
One response to having problems in your core business is to diversify into some more promising line of activity. For example, a farmer may decide he can make more from his farm by turning it into a golf course rather than using the land for animal husbandry or crops.
To make this work you need the capital, relevant expertise and you need to study market conditions. Our hypothetical farmer would need to go into partnership with someone with golf course expertise. Also if lots of farmers in the area decided to build a golf course there would not be enough golfers to use them.
With financial fair play rules an increasing challenge for clubs, could generating other sources of revenue provide greater flexibility of income? Having hotels, conference facilities and even shops or small businesses at the ground are well tried ideas which work better in some locations than others, but Turkish club Trabzonspor (who finished 3rd in the league last season) have come up with a novel idea.
The club has received approval to build a 28 megawatt plant in the hills above its Black Sea home of Trabzon. The region has big mountains and high average rainfall. Moreover, club chairman Sadri Sener is a civil engineer.
It is estimated that the plant could cost 30 to 50 million dollars. Once complete, the revenues should be around 10 million dollars a year, a very good return.
Of course, it wouldn't work everywhere. Manchester has plenty of rain, but no steep hills or mountains. However, perhaps clubs could do something with the hot air generated by managers in post-match interviews.