Toon For Change have released a new statement urging Mike Ashley to reconsider his decision NOT to refund direct debit payments for 2020/21 season tickets.
In their latest message to Mike Ashley, they’ve asked for payments to be returned and future payments to be stopped during the coronavirus pandemic and period of Premier League uncertainty.
They also reveal two real life stories they’ve received from Newcastle United fans, showing how these heft charges have impacted season ticket holders trying to come to terms with the current crisis:
Toon For Change statement
Fans have stuck by our football club through thick and thin, it’s time for the club to give something back.”
Newcastle United pressure group Toon For Change is urging the club to return direct debit payments for 2020/21 season tickets, to fans that contact the club requesting a refund.
Joe Chilcott, a spokesperson for the group, which has over 1000 members, commented: Following the club taking monies for next season’s season tickets even though this season hasn’t been completed (and we don’t know when the next will start) we are calling on the club to return this money to fans who request a refund.
The club needs to understand that for many supporters, this is a time of extreme financial uncertainty and hardship that a lot of people haven’t experienced before.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK are experiencing a severe loss in income, be that through work or self-employment – this is a genuine hour of need for many.
This is money that could be used to pay household bills and put food on families’ tables – and if people need it now, then they should be given the opportunity to get it back.
To illustrate this, we spoke to two supporters who had money for next season’s season tickets taken – both of who would like this money returned as soon as possible. John from Durham who is recovering from a brain tumour operation and Ian, who is a single dad of three from Cramlington.
We have received dozens of messages from other fans who would also like help in in getting their money back from the club.
These supporters aren’t just numbers in bank accounts, they are real people who are facing difficult times and who are worried about their financial future.
They like many of us fans, have stuck by our football club through thick and thin – and in this moment of national emergency, it’s time for the club to give something back.
We are currently liaising with the club about this issue and suggest that any fan who would like their money for next season’s season ticket returned, writes to the club’s box office, tells them about their circumstances and asks for a refund.
John from Durham, who is recovering from a brain tumour operation, got in touch regarding his season ticket payment being taken last week, he said:
“£624 was taken out of my account for next season’s season ticket last week. I had a brain tumour operation in August then radiotherapy so I’ve been on sick and am now on half pay. When that runs out in April I’ll be down to SSP,
“The situation with the virus is going to add to my woes. I don’t want to cancel or withhold the cash but think currently my need is greater than theirs. I’m happy to pay once I actually know what I’m getting.
“In these extremely challenging times when fans livelihoods are genuinely at risk, as cases of coronavirus continue to increase, businesses close and jobs are lost, collecting direct debits for a season that might not take place seems very callous and wrong.”
Ian, a single parent from Cramlington wrote to us saying:
“My son’s season ticket money went out of my bank account last week, he was on a three-year deal at £80 per year in the kids section. Last week the club took £329 as he’s no longer a junior.
“Due the uncertainty surrounding employment and Covid-19 I really could have done without the payment going out. I would like it returned.
“Given the economic uncertainty and concerns about employment, I like a large section of the population are being very prudent in my spending, ensuring my mortgage and bills etc are covered and football falls into the category of luxuries given the current climate.
“I’m a single parent with three children, it’s very important I look after their welfare as my number one priority. Hopefully in three or four months, things will change and conditions will improve I can re-evaluate, for now though – I need that money back.”