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Opinion

Mike Ashley must repay money taken from fans as Newcastle part of Premier League decision making

5 months ago
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To say that Mike Ashley hasn’t behaved very well during this current national / international crisis, would be a serious understatement.

Whether Newcastle United or his retail empire, it was embarrassing to see just what level of contempt he had for his ‘customers’ and workers.

A series of appalling decisions from Mike Ashley back in March, before he fled the country for his second home in Miami.

Now though he has returned, flying back into the UK last weekend on his private plane.

So is it now time for Mike Ashley to finally do at least the bare minimum when it comes to Newcastle United fans…?

Well, the 20 Premier League clubs met once again via video conferencing on Friday, plus the government also gave an update, showing their support for the PL completing the 2019/2020 season and within what parameters this will / can happen.

What we now know for sure

No spectators will be allowed into any of the remaining 2019/20 Premier League and cup games.

All remaining matches of the 2019/20 season will be played at neutral stadiums (The Brighton CEO has said he isn’t happy about this but with the government insisting on it for the rest of this season, what he says is irrelevant), to try and help ensure idiots don’t turn up and stand outside when games behind closed doors are played.

What we definitely don’t know

When / if the 2020/21 Premier League season will kick off.

Once that 2020/21 season does kick off, when (if at an time during that season) spectators will be allowed into stadiums.

So as things stand, this is what Mike Ashley needs to do

Ticket office staff (and everybody else at NUFC ideally) need to be taken off furlough and return to work.

Then 100%, all Newcastle  fans who have paid for tickets for home and away Premier League tickets, need to be refunded ASAP. Fans will not be allowed into any PL match this season, so zero excuse not to refund them now.

All Newcastle and Man City fans who have bought tickets for the FA Cup quarter-final have to be refunded ASAP, as fans won’t be able to go to that either.

On 25 March 2020, Mike Ashley went ahead and by direct debit took full payment for 2020/21 NUFC season tickets, despite various fan group urging him not to. All of those fans should as a minimum be offered the chance to have that cash refunded. Who knows when that season will start and also, when / if fans will be allowed into games. It is shocking to be sitting on that money.

The same with fans paying monthly in advance for 2020/21 NUFC season tickets, Friday saw the latest direct debit taken by Mike Ashley from many supporters, for a season where nobody knows when it will start and then when fans will be allowed. Those direct debit payments need to stop AND those fans at least offered a repayment of the direct debits taken so far, if they choose to do so.

This is of course all before you then get to those with current 2018/19 season tickets. No problems when it comes to the 10,000 free ones Mike Ashley was forced to hand out…but at some point those who want a pro rata refund (rather than money off their next season ticket if renewing) for these last five PL home games of the season, will have to be offered it sometime.

Mike Ashley is acting in a shocking fashion towards Newcastle fans, a bit like somebody moving out of a rented property and determined to leave behind as big a mess as possible…

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