08 July 2004 | Anna Blackburn
A football club in the Championship, formerly the first division, is looking to save at least 10 per cent of its annual budget by outsourcing some of its buying for the first time.
Ipswich Town FC hopes that outsourcing food and beverage as well as janatorial supplies will aid its survival.
Mike Cooper, finance director at the club, said: "Football is struggling to contain costs, particularly player costs, with most clubs budgeting just to survive.
"Outside the Premiership even small savings are worth it."
Cooper said the decision came after a two-year study of all aspects of club finances.
"Price cutting is the last area of savings and one in which we consider we need outside expertise," he added. "Outsourcing procurement gives us expert knowledge plus the advantage of price savings through scale. The two areas of purchasing should save us at least 10 per cent of our budget. That's about £50,000."
Football clubs have been slow to tackle procurement. "Recent experience has shocked clubs into action," said Cooper.
Matthew Roper, managing director at purchasing consultancy Buying Support, which won the Ipswich contract, said more clubs would follow its lead.
"Historically, football clubs have been focused on the players' wage bills, not other areas," he said. "I hope we'll demonstrate to them and to the marketplace that we can significantly reduce their costs."
Ipswich Town FC has no plans to extend outsourcing to other areas of its business.