News Release: NUFC Supporters Trust calls for return of fans’ £7m
News Releases - 15-10-2020
15th October 2020
NUFC Supporters Trust calls for return of fans’ £7m
NEWCASTLE United is being urged to return an estimated £7m worth of season-ticket money to hard-pressed fans for games they will never see.
Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) is making a public appeal to the club to “do right by fans” after previous requests fell on deaf ears.
The Trust, which has more than 14,000 members, estimates that Newcastle United currently has at least £7m in its coffers from fans who have paid for season tickets for the current 2020/21 season.
Many of these fans are on long-term deals and some fans have already paid in full for season tickets.
Other fans on long-term deals have seen NUFC continue to take money from their bank accounts every month via direct debit.
This is carrying on despite there being no realistic prospect of supporters being able to get back into stadia until March 2021 at the earliest and comes at a time when the North East has the worst unemployment rate in the country.
NUFC Supporters Trust has called the situation “morally wrong” and is urging the club to refund loyal fans money which many now desperately need.
NUST chairman Alex Hurst said: “The club confirmed to us earlier this year they have 18,000 fans on long term season ticket deals out of 30,000 season ticket holders.
“These fans are tied in on deals which mean that many either pay for their season tickets up front or have money taken via monthly direct debits.
“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.
“We calculate that 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 a yet unspecific date.
“The scandalous introduction of pay per view games at £14.95 means that Newcastle United fans are effectively being expected to pay twice to see their team in action.
“We at the Trust have tried to engage with the club on the matter to get a workable solution but as yet we have had no commitment to addressing the matter, so we are left with no alternative but to make a public appeal for the club to do right by its fans.
“Stop taking payments now and start repaying supporters the money which is rightfully theirs.”
Newcastle United were the last club in the Premier League to repay season ticket-holding fans for games which took place behind closed doors at the end of the 2019/20 season.
In addition, no other Premier League team is currently taking money from fans for tickets for the current 2020/21 season.
Alex Hurst said: “This cannot be allowed to carry on.
“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 NUFC 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.
“The North East is facing ever greater Covid restrictions and we need our football club to do better and to do right by its fans.
“It’s time to stop taking and time to start giving back.”
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About NUFC Supporters Trust
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) is one of the largest supporters trusts in the UK with more than 14,000 paying members.
It seeks to benefit the football club and its supporters by channeling the passion of its loyal supporters into a forward-thinking non-profit organisation.
The Trust is a legally constituted, democratic organisation that is run by its members. Every member is eligible to stand for election and to vote for candidates for the NUST board which will be accountable to all NUST members.
The Trust is legally registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.