Real reason why Mike Ashley delaying so long on Newcastle United season ticket refunds
A bit like Donald Trump’s post-election behaviour, nobody is surprised these days at the way Mike Ashley continues to treat Newcastle fans so badly.
Trump doesn’t care how ridiculous and embarrassing his words and actions look, neither does Mike Ashley when it comes to Newcastle United.
Two people used to getting their own way and who will do anything that it takes to achieve it.
The only positive I suppose is that, so far, Mike Ashley hasn’t claimed that actually the real truth is that last season Newcastle United actually won the Premier League…
Back to black and white reality and my point in this article is all about Mike Ashley and Newcastle United season ticket refunds, or rather, the lack of them.
Last month, I was staggered when the compliant NUFC media actually praised Mike Ashley when he allowed an announcement finally to be made on Newcastle United season ticket refunds.
That announcement said that those who had paid for 2020/21 NUFC season tickets could apply for a refund on the first five home matches where fans have been banned BUT not until sometime in December, at the earliest, would refunds be issued.
Let me remind you…
Thousands of Newcastle fans saw full 2020/21 season ticket payment taken by Mike Ashley via direct debit fully eight months ago (March 2020), despite NUFC supporter groups urging him not to do so, so that will be nine months once we get into December.
Meanwhile, November has seen Mike Ashley continue to take monthly payments from many more thousands of Newcastle fans who pay for their season tickets on a monthly basis, this month being the eighth payment taken for 2020/21 season tickets. Absolutely incredible, Ashley continuing to take these monthly payments despite knowing that those paying monthly are already well past the point of paying of paying for any matches they could potentially be allowed in to see this season. These 2020/21 season ticket holders will see a ninth monthly payment taken in December, before there is any possibility of receiving that first refund for the opening five home games.
No other Premier League club owners are treating their hardcore supporters so abysmally, at a time when so many people are financially stretched, along with all the other worries the virus situation has brought.
By coincidence, on Wednesday night I came across this (see below) announcement by Southampton, that they made ahead of our defeat there 13 days ago.
They confirmed that Southampton season ticket holders had all already been issued with refunds for the Everton (25 October) and Newcastle (6 November) home matches, BEFORE we (NUFC) even played our match at St Mary’s.
The Saints coming up with this revolutionary idea of actually wanting to refund season ticket holders AND then repaying them. They are doing it on a match by match pro rata basis, which appears fair enough, two games at a time.
This process will continue until fans are allowed back inside St Mary’s, then instead of refunding their cash, the remaining season ticket money will be there to pay for the matches they can get into.
Does anybody honestly believe that this is something that Mike Ashley isn’t capable of organising for Newcastle fans if he really wanted to? Instead of him continuing to take 2020/21 season ticket payments on a monthly basis AND not refunding any cash for at least nine months to those who made full ST payment back in March 2020.
Which them brings me to what I believe is the real reason why Mike Ashley is delaying so long on Newcastle United season ticket refunds.
Fair to say that an overwhelming number of Newcastle fans think, beyond doubt, that this is all about Mike Ashley wanting to deprive people of their money, for as long as possible anyway.
However, I don’t think that it is the financial aspect at all that this is about. Depriving NUFC season ticket holders of the chance of a refund(s) is only a means to an end I believe for Mike Ashley.
I think this is all about backsides on seats and Mike Ashley already looking ahead to the 2021/22 season.
The reality is surely, that this current season, even at best, very very few Newcastle United season ticket holders will be allowed to go to very very few matches at St James Park this season.
Mike Ashley’s strategy is for me to hold onto (and keep taking the monthly payments) the 2020/21 season ticket money so long, that as many people as possible will just say, we are now so far gone and next season isn’t so far away now (or at least needing to pay for it), so I will just leave my 2020/21 season ticket money there, to pay for the 2021/22 one.
So much has happened in recent times, easy to forget that Mike Ashley had to take the drastic move in December to give away 10,000 free season tickets.
Between himself and Steve Bruce, crowds were down to as low as just over 40,000, with only around 30,000 season ticket holders.
Whilst other clubs will confidently envisage packed crowds once again when allowed to do so.
If Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce are still at St James Park, do you really think we will see that here???
Mike Ashley needs as many as people locked in for 2021/22 to avoid as much as possible huge embarrassing gaps in the stands, that for me is why he is doing everything he can for season ticket holders not to have access to refunds for as long as possible.
Southampton Official Announcement – Friday 6 November 2020:
Southampton Football Club can confirm that all pro rata refunds to 2020/21 Season Ticket holders for the home matches against Everton and Newcastle United have now been completed, with the process underway for the upcoming matches against Manchester United and Sheffield United.
Those fans due a refund will have had the equivalent of one-nineteenth of the total amount of their Season Ticket paid back to the card used to buy the ticket for each match.
Some supporters will receive multiple payments due to orders for separate Season Tickets that sit on their account, or if they have instalment plans.
Payments may take a few days to appear depending on your banking provider. Supporters who have a refund that has failed to process automatically have been sent an email directly.
If any 2020/21 Season Ticket holders have concerns that their payment for the Everton and Newcastle matches hasn’t gone through, please contact the Ticket Office call centre on 02381 780780, quoting your supporter number, available every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 4pm. Outside of these hours you can email [email protected]
Given the current situation, we have also now accelerated the refunds process for our upcoming matches against Manchester United and Sheffield United.
Some supporters will have started to receive these already, with others being finalised shortly. Further communication and emails will be sent once these are completed, and we shall continue to keep supporters updated with the refunding process.
We shall continue to keep supporters updated when payments are made for future fixtures, and will share a statement to confirm total refunds in due course.
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