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Opinion

Newcastle United takeover to blame for me not getting £30 Bournemouth cash back? You’re having a laugh

5 months ago
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The Newcastle United takeover has worked its way into the vast majority of NUFC headlines in recent months.

If not in the actual headline, it will still usually end up getting mentioned somewhere in the actual story.

Whether it is the daily transfer scoops the newspapers are making up every day, or pretty much anything else that is Newcastle United related.

I think now though, we have hit an all-time low.

As you no doubt will be aware, Mike Ashley has refused to refund any cash for tickets that are now useless for 2019/20 matches.

The Premier League confirming that no fans will be allowed into any of the remaining 92 PL games of this season.

In the case of Newcastle United, money for one-off tickets has been taken by NUFC for the home PL game against Sheffield United and the away game at Bournemouth.

You then also have the FA Cup sixth round match against Manchester City which will be played the final weekend of June with no fans allowed.

As for season ticket holders, they are owed for the final five home games of this 2019/20 season and entitled to refunds pro rata on those matches.

Very bizarrely, a number of journalists (and some ‘in the know’ fans) are now claiming that Mike Ashley is not refusing to refund the money for the now can’t be used tickets above. Instead they say, it is because of issues to do with the Newcastle United takeover actually preventing the NUFC owner from doing so.

The reasoning behind this is that in a takeover of a company, once agreement is reached to sell / buy, it will then mean the soon to be sellers are restricted in what they can do in terms of spending the company’s (club’s) money whilst the takeover is being completed.

That may well be the case in terms of the Newcastle United takeover, indeed it almost certainly will be.

However, it is not a case of stunning any company / club into total paralysis.

It is the case that they will still be able to go on with normal trading, only not be able to commit to major new expenditure.

So, Mike Ashley signing on the dotted line to buy Neymar and Mbappe is ruled out, as is building the essential new state of the art training complex he promised in 2013 would be built ASAP.

However, take my Bournemouth ticket.

Along with around a thousand other Newcastle fans I paid £30 for an away ticket, Bournemouth away was due to be played on Saturday 4 April.

So that is around £30,000 (probably a bit less as some will have been concession price tickets) that 100% needs to be paid back to Newcastle fans such as me, a game that most definitely I and the rest of them can’t attend.

The thing is in this case, the money isn’t even Mike Ashley’s / Newcastle United’s, they sell the tickets on behalf of the away club and then transfer the cash over to Bournemouth around the time the match is played.

I paid for my Bournemouth ticket in February and football was suspended a month before that away match was due to be played. So that £30,000 hasn’t been sent to AFC Bournemouth and is sitting still in the NUFC bank account. There is no way that strings attached to the Newcastle United takeover are preventing Mike Ashley refunding that cash, it is laughable to think so.

That would be just normal trading and the thirty grand is around a third of what Jonjo Shelvey is pocketing each week.

The individual tickets bought for both Sheffield United and Man City (FA Cup) surely also fall into the same category, part of normal trading to refund these can’t be used tickets now. All it needs is Mike Ashley to get the ticket office staff to issue the refunds, instead of refusing to reply to my emails asking why there has been no refund(s) for these tickets.

You must have a very imaginative mind if you honestly think that this is anything other than Mike Ashley refusing to do the right thing.

I accept that for refunds to season ticket holders for the final five games is a little bit more expensive and complicated to do – but still no real justification for not doing it. Anyway, we are repeatedly told that Mike Ashley and the Saudi PIF financed bidders are on cordial terms so why would the (hopefully) imminent new owners object, if Ashley asked, for this administrative issue to be sorted before they took over and the right thing done for the fans?

The only thing that does make sense is that refusing to refund any ticket money is absolutely what we would expect from Mike Ashley, judged on the past 13 years.

If you really believe the Newcastle United takeover is to blame for me not getting my £30 Bournemouth ticket cash back, then no doubt you also believe that Amanda Staveley and the Saudis also ordered Mike Ashley to furlough most of the NUFC non-playing staff and not to keep playing casual matchday workers as other responsible clubs did…

My brother in law got his latest direct debit taken yesterday (1 June), advanced payment for his 2020/21 season ticket when still nobody now if / when fans will be allowed in. I suppose the Saudis are ordering Mike Ashley to keep on taking this cash?

The thing is, even if you believe this nonsense about the Newcastle United takeover preventing Mike Ashley doing the right thing and refunding the ticket money. It 100% doesn’t stop him communicating with fans and reassuring them that money will be refunded.

They don’t even need to mention the takeover, simply put out a statement saying something like…’As you know, no fans will be permitted to attend the remaining matches of the 2019/20 season. We would just like to reassure all supporters that refunds on tickets will be made ASAP and we are now putting a plan in place to do so for individual tickets. Whilst 2019/20 season ticket holders will also be contacted with a range of options in the near future, including a pro rata refund. We thank you for your patience and understanding blah blah blah…’

The refusal to refund the money is shameful and the refusal to even communicate with the Newcastle fans sums up this Mike Ashley ownership.

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