Mike Ashley actions looking ever more embarrassing as Brighton make their move
Mike Ashley is clearly the ‘stand out’ football club owner in the Premier League.
Truly in a class of his own.
On Friday, he will insist on direct debits still being taken from thousands of Newcastle fans in advance payment towards 2020/21 season tickets. A season that nobody has a clue when it will start, then even less clue as to at what point, if any, in that season, fans will actually be allowed into matches. That is of course on top of taking via direct debit FULL advance payment in late March 2020 for 2020/21 season tickets from many fans.
There is of course less than zero chance of Newcastle fans being allowed into any outstanding 2019/20 matches, if the season is allowed to restart, yet Mike Ashley has also refused to allow refunds to be made to any fans for match tickets, the five remaining matches of 2019/20 season tickets and any other packages for the remaining 2019/20 games, as well as for stadium tours that the club have cancelled.
In contrast, soon to be relegated Norwich City announced on Monday that they would be paying back all money owed to fans for THIS 2019/20 season. Whether it is single match tickets, hospitality, matchday experiences and so on, all will be refunded. The refunding process also including pro rata refunds for remaining PL home games for this season, which no fans will be allowed to attend.
Now it is the turn of Brighton.
The south coast club the latest to shame Mike Ashley by doing the right thing.
They have committed to paying back everybody (see below), unless any individual fan actively chooses to either tell the club to instead donate the money owed to charity, or tells the club to keep the cash in the club coffers.
Imagine Mike Ashley doing anything similar?
If he did, no doubt it would be set up so that Ashley would by default automatically keep the money, unless you completed an all but impossible process to demand it back.
Brighton official announcement:
‘With confirmation that our nine outstanding Premier League fixtures will now only be played in a behind-closed-doors scenario, we will be writing to 1901 Club members, season-ticket holders and match-ticket purchasers by email with their own individual refund information.
Exact refund amounts will be outlined in the email with the aim that supporters will be repaid in the second week of June, although fans will also be given the opportunity to waive their refund or donate to the Albion As One fund. This is in response to a number of emails to the club from supporters wishing to be offered this opportunity.
Chief executive Paul Barber said, “It has been humbling to receive so many emails and messages from fans, firstly concerned for our welfare as a club and also as individuals and secondly asking for their ticket or membership payments to be retained by the club or Albion As One fund.
“Firstly, I would like to thank all those fans who have written into us with those sentiments and, secondly, in light of that we will write to choose how their initial payments are handled. We fully appreciate not all fans will be in a position to make a donation or some may not wish to do that, but in response to those writing in we wanted to give all our supporters the choice.”
For those who wish to be refunded (or those who do not respond) payments will be reversed and paid back to the credit card, debit card or taken off remaining direct debit payments. If we do not have card details, we will collect a bank account number and sort code for BACS refund. Those who paid by gift voucher will be refunded by a gift voucher which will be valid for one year.
1901 Club members
For the remainder of the 2019/20 matches at the Amex, all 1901 Club member will be given a 5/21st pro-rata refund off the season-ticket payments for the 2020/21 season.
1901 Club members will have the refund deducted from the renewal price for the 2020/21 season. Those who opted for the payment holiday will have their Direct Debit adjusted taking in to account the three-month break.
All members will be emailed with the exact details in due course, and details of how to waive the refund or donate to the Albion As One fund if they wish.
Season-ticket holders who renewed for 2020/21
For the remainder of the 2019/20 matches at the Amex, all season-ticket holders will be given a 5/19ths pro-rata refund.
Lump-sum payers will be emailed with their refund amount and instructions of what to do next if wishing to waive or donate the amount. Refund will otherwise be made back to the original payment method.
Direct Debit payers will see the refund amount deducted across the remaining monthly payments for the 2020/21 season ticket, starting from the June. Those who opted for the payment holiday will have their Direct Debit payments adjusted taking in to account the three-month break and the change will be in place from the August payment onwards. Season-ticket holders will be emailed with the exact details in due course, and instructions on how to waive the refund or donate to the Albion As One fund if they wish.
Season-ticket holders who have not renewed for 2020/21
2019/20 season ticket holders who did not renew in to the 2020/21 season will be provided with a 5/19th pro rata refund.
Supporters will be emailed with their refund amount and instructions of what to do next if wishing to waive or donate the amount. Refund will be made back to the original payment method – if this is direct debit the refund will be returned by BACS to the original bank account.
Match ticket / Match hospitality / match pack holders for Premier League and WSL
All match ticket and hospitality purchasers will be emailed with details of their refund amount and instructions of what to do next if wishing to waive or donate the amount. The refund will otherwise be made back to the original payment method.
Seasonal hospitality and parking
All those holding the above will be emailed with details of their pro-rata refund amount and instructions of what to do next if wishing to waive or donate the amount. The refund will otherwise be made back to the original payment method.
Seagull Travel, the club’s official travel partner, will provide a pro-rata refund to seasonal travellers and refunds to future individual match bookers. Seagull Travel will be in touch directly with supporters in due course and more information can be found here
The club appreciates there is some uncertainty around the start of the 2020/21 season being played in front of crowds. As and when we have clarity on this supporters will be contacted directly with more information.
Details will be sent out to supporters in the next seven days with an aim to complete refunds in the second week in June. It is estimated that we will need to deal with many refunds and the club appreciates your patience and understanding during this time.’
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