*After the club stated on March 25th that they could NOT be suspending or delaying Season Ticket payments, the NUST have released a new statement, urging Mike Ashley to reconsider.*
During what is undoubtedly an incredibly difficult time we, the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, would firstly like to wish everyone the best of health and hope that members (who are able to) are doing all they can to keep themselves safe at home. We would also like to pay our respects to those essential workers who continue to protect lives and our economy on a daily basis.
Issues surrounding football right now are of little importance, in recent days there has been one topic in particular that has kept us busy and, despite added hurdles with regards to communication with the club, we continue to pursue our concerns with regards to Season Ticket payments.
Season Ticket holders who are on the 9 and 10-year deals are now into the period of paying for the 2020/21 season, with so much uncertainty about when it will actually start.
Supporters on these deals have two options, to pay annually or monthly. There is no difference in cost. Those who pay annually saw their lump sum payment taken on the 25th March, whereas those on monthly payment plans will see their payment taken on the 1st or the 15th of the month, depending on which date you selected.
Newcastle United are, as far as we understand, the only Premier League club that has taken payment for the 2020/21 season.
Most clubs in the Premier League have now postponed their renewal periods until a more certain time, others have frozen payments due to be taken for next season, both of which we see as the correct approach.
We called on the club to suspend payments on the 18th March and did not receive a response. As a matter of urgency, we contacted them again on the 23rd of March. We heard from the club on the 25th March that they would not be suspending or delaying payments, this being after the annual payment was taken from supporters.
We contacted the club again to request they reconsider their position and have outlined what we believe the club should be doing:
- Freeze all annual & monthly payments for the 2020/21 season until we have a confirmed start date. Offering fans who have already paid in full the option of a refund.
- Open up a support system to fans who pay annually and have entered difficulty due to the impact of COVID-19.
- Offer a guarantee that if we do not see another live game this season, fans receive a refund on a pro-rata basis based on the remaining home games with an option of a one-payment refund or a reduction in further payments.
- Season Ticket Holders not on the 9 and 10-year deals should be given a guarantee that no payment will be taken until a guaranteed plan of action for the resumption of football is in place.
Many fans will be able to continue paying as normal, but we do believe that Newcastle United should be doing more to ease the financial burden on supporters who currently find themselves in difficulty. Canceling your season ticket because of the financial impact of COVID-19 should not be an option during these times.
We will be continuing to press the club on this issue and we want to work with them to ensure we can find a positive solution. Newcastle United should not be the only football club in the Premier League that offers no support to their loyal fans.
We will always strive to protect the interests of our members and fan base.
Please look after yourself and your loved ones over the weeks and months ahead.
STAY HOME. PROTECT THE NHS. SAVE LIVES.