Mike Ashley needs to pay Newcastle United fans their money back – No excuses now
Mike Ashley must surely, belatedly, now do the right thing.
Back on 24 March 2020, the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) released a public statement (see below).
That same day, NUFC fans group Toon For Change, also released a statement (see below).
Both statements urged / pleaded with Mike Ashley not to go ahead and take full advance season ticket payments from fans for the 2020/21 season, after it emerged that this was what the club were planning to do via direct debit, despite the suspension of football and total uncertainty as to what was going to happen.
The next day, 25 March 2020, Mike Ashley went ahead and took advance full season ticket payments for the 2020/21 season from countless fans.
At the start of the following month, once again despite fan groups urging him not to, Mike Ashley began taking advance monthly payments via direct debit from thousands of Newcastle fans for 2020/21 season tickets.
Mike Ashley has now had the full season ticket payment cash for six months, whilst those paying monthly will see their seventh monthly payment go out shortly at the start of October for this season.
Enough has to be enough.
Today’s announcement by the Government confirmed what we all knew was going to be the case, no chance of any fans allowed in for the foreseeable future to St James Park. Indeed, Boris Johnson saying that unless (very very unlikely) significant progress was made with the virus situation, the new restrictive measures (including no spectators at sporting events) are set to be in place for the next six months.
That would take us to the end of March 2021, by which time those who pay in one advance payment would be scheduled to have already had their full payment for 2021/22 season tickets taken by Mike Ashley, whilst those on the monthly plan would then be set to start paying in April 2021 for their 2021/22 NUFC season tickets.
Other Premier League clubs are now offering fans refunds on their season tickets, as well as suspending monthly payments if they offer similar schemes to Newcastle.
There is absolutely no excuse now for Mike Ashley not to do the same.
So many people, especially in the north east are strapped for cash, with the virus impact creating problems for countless Newcastle fans.
It is morally wrong for the club (Mike Ashley) to hang onto this money any longer and totally indefensible to continue taking monthly payments.
Nobody knows if any fans will be allowed into games whatsoever this season and certainly it will be into 2021 before there is any chance of some supporters getting back into St James Park.
If fans are happy to let the money lie in the club’s bank account then fair enough. However, anybody who wants a refund should be offered one.
Mike Ashley shamefully waited until the very last minute and Newcastle were the very last PL club to offer refunds for last season’s matches where fans had been barred from attending.
No reason at all why the NUFC owner should repeat his shameful actions.
NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) Official Statement – Tuesday 24 March 2020:
‘WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
On behalf of all the Board of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST), our thoughts are with anyone who has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and everyone working hard to keep us safe. We are with you. We support you.
We are in unprecedented times.
Almost all of the work of Trust is on hold, all meetings and face-to-face contact is suspended indefinitely.
However, we must, and we will, continue to stand up for our members and the wider Newcastle United supporter base when we need to.
Today, we need to.
We call on Newcastle United to suspend all Season Ticket renewals and all payments on future Season Tickets with IMMEDIATE EFFECT.
We all have to adjust to a new way of life and for many that means financial difficulty now and in the future. We therefore reiterate our call to Newcastle United to provide relief and support to its own supporters by suspending all Season Ticket renewals and payments with immediate effect.
STAY AT HOME. STAY SAFE. PROTECT THE NHS.’
“We urgently call on Newcastle United to suspend all season ticket direct debits.
“Fans should not be expected to pay whilst the country faces a national emergency.
“Thousands of fans have lost their income and suspending ST direct debits will give some relief in these difficult times.”
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