UAE Pro League: being paid to attend games?

Discussion started by Edward Rangsi , on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 10:35

It has been reported that supporters in the United Arab Emirates are being paid up to $21 to go and cheer on the UAE Pro League.

The league’s vice-chairman, Abdullah Al Junaibi, said: "We need to realise the short history of football companies in the UAE. It was just four or five years ago that they transformed themselves into football companies. However, the mentality and mindset of their fans have perhaps not been transformed completely."

"Previously, as a social club, the football team was seen as part of the extended family of the fans. And in this case, especially in our culture, where we are known to be very hospitable and charitable to our families and relatives, clubs and fans alike do not think that it is right for fans to be paying for tickets."

I understand that football franchises in the UAE haven’t been around for long, but the sport has. Speaking from a fans perspective in England, I am personally for the idea, but how does this make any business sense? Why not offer free tickets instead?

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Barry Hope
Football is very active in the UAE and even when I came here in 1977 one of the first of many super-stadiums was being built, this one for the Al Nasr Club in Dubai. The newly laid astro-turf was found to be completely unsuitable and was soon replaced with grass. I was more than happy to become the tenant of their nearby old walled football ground to create a 'super cross' circuit for my motocross club using about 50 truck loads of 'subhka' excavated from the new stadium to build all the jumps!

Of note was a splendid evening where the ex-England team manager Mr Don Revie OBE was invited to present prizes at the Dubai Netball Club's end of season dinner. Mr Revie, who of course had a somewhat colorful exit from the UK and was now coaching the the UAE national squad was heckled during his after dinner speech by a clearly less than sober member of the audience.

To his credit, Mr Revie, using a rather old-fashioned approach to negotiation and reconciliation invited the chap to step outside - and they did. Splendid!

There is of course a continuous push to develop football here as the national sport, and the government and owners of the clubs will no doubt do whatever they think is appropriate. I just wish national motorsport had a matched response and funding from the powers that be, especially given the huge government investment in motorsport infrastructure and strategic investments - and the desire to see an Arab driver in Formula 1.
1676 days ago
Edward Rangsi
I guess visibility is top priority for them, Col. It's also makes you wonder why players such as Asamoah Gyan would leave for the Pro League.

Do you know what it's like in the UAE, in terms of the amount of exposure the sport gets?

What could be better than a free ticket to a game of football?
1676 days ago
Colin Robinson
Ed, I think the vast amounts of money that are reportedly being spent on playing and coaching talent, eg Asamoah Gyan and previously Diego Maradona, suggests that making money is not currently a priority for clubs in the Pro League.

It seems that the main priority now is to generate interest in the game, perhaps the offer a free ticket is not sufficient to draw people to the matches?
1677 days ago filesmonster