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Ticket T&Cs: What’s fair for 2021-22?

It’s now been more than one year since COVID-19 first hit and the football calendar changed dramatically. Supporters haven’t been in grounds since November 2020 and it’s likely that, even with a return to some form of normality, restrictions will be in place next season too.

With a return to stadiums comes season ticket sales and the usual issues that would be expected as clubs adapt T&Cs to factor in the strong possibility of reduced crowds and, in worst case scenarios, further lockdowns and empty stadiums.

Here at the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) we have continued to offer help to our affiliated and associated supporters’ organisations across the country, so we’ve seen our fair share of good (and bad) ideas by clubs on how to manage the return.

With that in mind we thought we’d share some examples of good practice and highlight clubs that have engaged and consulted their supporters despite a tough backdrop of furloughed staff, reduced revenue and the emotional impact of a health pandemic.

Fans will, if they haven’t already, start seeing “early bird” season ticket offers and it’s important that supporters’ groups go into discussions with clubs feeling well prepared, with clear ideas about what they think is fair and reasonable. 

The FSA Ticketing Charter is designed to help supporters in those discussions by setting a fair benchmark that clubs can still hit in these difficult times and providing a “sense check” to strive for a level of consistency across clubs.

Of course different clubs have different challenges, and our Premier League and EFL Networks have created similar but bespoke Ticketing Charters for fan groups to use. Supporters at non-league level can also use elements of either charter in discussions with their clubs or contact the FSA if you need more specific support.

Ticketing Charters:

Case studies:

  • Brighton & Hove Albion: The club have held regular meetings online with the supporter base. Fans appear to be kept informed and involved in the decision making process.
  • Fulham: The club involved the supporters’ trust in discussions on the return of fans. Fulham Supporters’ Trust lobbied the club on ticket ballots, prices and achieved a reasonable outcome with the club listening to feedback.
  • Morecambe: The club has held online Q&A sessions between club directors and supporters. 
  • Norwich City: Wrote to all fans regarding new arrangements, consulting widely with the Canaries Trust and other fan groups. The Canaries Trust have also been able to assist the club with health and safety plans, with the club utilising many of these recommendations. This has further strengthened the trust and club relationship.
  • Nottingham Forest: The club and trust have held extensive discussions on important issues such as loyalty points being retained and a full refund being available if needed for financial or medical reasons. 
  • Portsmouth: Season ticket holders paid £25 to retain their seat for the 2021-22 season and were, in turn, given two iFollow passes (more are expected before the season ends). There is also a £25 membership scheme for non-season ticket holders who will be next in priority.
  • Tottenham Hotspur: Club officials have spent time engaging with the trust and listening to the views put forward; something that underlines the value of building a positive working relationship. Detailed discussions have taken place across many areas such as season ticket payment installments, priority ticket access to season ticket holders and the process of recording loyalty points during a season ticket exchange plan.

Are you a supporters’ group that has been happy with how their club has engaged and feel they deserve a place on this list? Then we’d love to hear from you as this list certainly isn’t exhaustive – get in touch.

If you have any particular issues relating to tickets, “consumer” matters, or any other issues then contact the Football Supporters’ Association and we’ll do our best to help.

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