Newcastle United fans call for action on £7m worth of missing refunds
Posted on 15th October 2020
Newcastle United fans are still waiting on an estimated £7m worth of season ticket refunds – and now supporters are calling for urgent action from the Premier League club.
With thousands of Newcastle United fans still awaiting refunds for games they’ve paid for but can’t attend as the Premier League remains behind closed doors, Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) are making a public appeal to the club to “do right by fans” after previous requests fell on deaf ears.
The trust estimates that Newcastle United currently has at least £7m in its coffers from fans who have paid for season tickets for the 2020-21 season.
NUST chair Alex Hurst said: “With stadia being closed and no realistic prospect of fans returning any time soon, it means some of the club’s most loyal supporters are hundreds of pounds out of pocket at a time when money is terribly tight.
“A conservative estimate of money the club currently has from fans would be around £7 million or more.
“That money should be in the pockets and homes of the people of the North East, not in the bank account of a football club to be paid back at an as yet unspecified date.”
When football moved behind closed doors earlier this year, most clubs began the process to offer refunds for matchday tickets and pro-rata refunds to season ticket holders, but Newcastle United remained silent on the issue until June.
The FSA sought legal advice from our partners at Gateley solicitors who confirmed that tickets sold for cancelled fixtures should be refunded in full for matchday tickets or on a pro-rata basis to season ticket holders.
“This cannot be allowed to carry on,” Alex said. “The idea that the club need to keep charging fans a monthly payment for games they will never see is absurd and, in a time of record unemployment, morally wrong.
“The Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust is calling on fans, politicians and people of influence within football to back our call and bring pressure on Newcastle United to stop taking money from fans and refund the money owed to us as soon as possible.
“It’s time to stop taking and time to start giving back.”
The FSA, together with fan representatives across our Premier League and EFL networks, will continue to monitor the state of refunds across England and Wales.
FSA vice-chair Tom Greatrex said: “Clubs should clearly heed the advice from Gateley, but regardless of any legal necessity we would argue that clubs have a moral obligation to offer to pay back supporters for games they have not been able to attend.
“At many clubs where refunds have been offered, some supporters have been able to donate back to help keep clubs going or to charity and community activity – demonstrating that supporters are more than customers. Others simply can not make that financial commitment at this time.
“Ultimately, though, it’s in a club’s long term interest to keep supporters engaged – if even a tiny proportion of supporters turn their backs on a club for life, because of poor treatment during this period, then that club will lose a lot more revenue than a few games’ worth of refunds.”