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Opinion

Only at Newcastle United could this be set to happen in 13 days time

5 months ago
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Newcastle United will kick off once again on Sunday 21 June.

The Magpies scheduled to play Sheffield United behind closed doors at St James Park as matches return.

The Bundesliga having  shown the way with now 10 weeks of training and playing matches, the German clubs having already completed four of their eight outstanding round of games and set to complete their league season only six days after Newcastle are due to play for the first time after restart.

Preparation couldn’t be going better, the latest test results announced at the weekend, showed not a single Premier League player or member of staff testing positive and in the most recent three rounds (of six) testing, the last 3,522 tests showing only one positive.

So back to playing football at last but only at Newcastle United could this be set to happen in 13 days time.

A report from The FSA (Football Supporters Association) exposed last week just how out of step Newcastle United are under Mike Ashley in how they are acting during this virus crisis.

The FSA investigated (see below) what each of the 20 Premier League clubs are doing with regard to getting in touch with their supporters to offer refunds on single match tickets and partial refunds on season tickets for games that were cancelled / due to be played behind closed doors.

The FA finding that: ‘Most clubs in the division have acted quickly during the pandemic to postpone season ticket renewals and communicate to their supporters about what they can expect in the refunds process. Anger on Tyneside has been growing, however, at Newcastle United’s refusal to say anything about the issue – the club have kept silent on refunds for this season, while continuing to take direct debit payments for next year’s season tickets.’

Throughout the whole virus crisis, Mike Ashley has refused to allow the club to communicate in any way at all to explain / justify actions taken, whether it is ticket issues, the furloughing of most non-playing staff, or indeed anything else of concern to supporters.

So now we are set to face Sheffield United a week on Sunday and every chance that the match will be played with still no refunds or even anything being communicated to Newcastle supporters about the issue.

Like thousands of other Newcastle fans, I bought my Sheffield United ticket back in February, four months ago!

For almost three months of that time, Mike Ashley has known that when this game would be played, no supporters would be allowed in.

Yet no refund or even any communication about it.

For season ticket holders, some of them actually paid for this Sheffield United match (and the other 19 PL games of the 2019/20 season) as far back as 15 months ago.

It seems incredible that Mike Ashley can be prepared to (and allowed to) still take advance season ticket payments by direct debit for games that Newcastle fans definitely won’t be able to go to in the early part (at the very least) of the 2020/21 season, yet think it is ok to not give refunds so far, or at least tell fans what is happening, for money taken as far back as March 2019 in many cases.

FSA report:

‘Premier League clubs begin refund process – with one exception

Premier League clubs have begun opening up refunds for games cancelled during the pandemic – with Newcastle United the only club to remain silent on the issue.

Over the last month, clubs have started to get in touch with their supporters to offer refunds on single match tickets and partial refunds on season tickets for games that were cancelled or are due to be played behind closed doors…

Most clubs have begun to offer refunds for matchday tickets and pro-rata refunds to season ticket holders, or have detailed the mechanisms for fans to claim their money back. 

Anger on Tyneside has been growing, however, at Newcastle United’s refusal to say anything about the issue…’

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