Good procurement increasingly important in sport

29 June 2012

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29 June 2012 | Adam Leach

The importance of procurement is increasing as professional sport becomes more commercially developed, the chief executive of Everton FC has said.

At an event at Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) this month, hosted by Optimum Procurement, representatives from the worlds of football, cricket and motorcycling, spoke of the rising value of procurement to their operations.

Robert Elstone, chief executive of premier league club Everton FC, said while the majority of spend – around 70 per cent – is spent on players’ wages, there is still significant scope for savings through better procurement. He told SM: “The remaining 30 per cent is all up for grabs as far as better procurement is concerned.”

Aside from activities on the pitch, Everton has a broad mix of commercial activities, including a conference and training venue, a travel business and a community programme. Elstone explained that the club has identified some key areas to find savings: “We’re looking for savings in all areas, but initial priorities include our soon-to-be-replaced car fleet and the significant amount of capital expenditure being spent in the closed season.”

Bradley Smith, who competes around in the world in Moto2 motorcycling championship, spoke of the importance of good travel buying: “My job takes me around the world every year and I travel extensively in the off-season, testing and training. Therefore it’s vital that I get value for money on my flights, hotels, car hire and other racing related expenses.”

Peter Rushton, CEO of Optimum Procurement, said: “Professional procurement practices are offering real competitive advantage to our sporting clients and in my view, back-office processes - behind the lines if you like - are crucial in supporting the front-of-house core product to achieve success, whether that be on the pitch or on the race track.”

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