Newcastle United: Fans accuse club of ‘dereliction of duty’ over season ticket plans

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June 3, 2020
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    St James' Park

    Newcastle have home league games against Aston Villa, Liverpool, Sheffield United, Tottenham and West Ham yet to play in the 2019-20 season

    Newcastle United have been accused of a “dereliction of duty” towards their supporters after not communicating season ticket plans.

    The Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust (NUST) sent a letter last week asking for confirmation of refunds, with games set to be played behind closed doors.

    It also wants season ticket payments for the 2020-21 season to be paused.

    Most top-flight clubs have said they will refund or credit season ticket holders for behind-closed-doors games.

    Newcastle are yet to announce plans, and did not comment when contacted by BBC Sport.

    The Trust’s letter, seen by BBC Sport, comes at a time when the club and fans are anxiously waiting on a proposed £300m takeover to be cleared by the Premier League.

    The deal, in which owner Mike Ashley would be replaced by a consortium backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is being checked under the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

    That process began more than seven weeks ago.

    Addressed to managing director Lee Charnley, the letter states: “We understand the club finds itself in a complex situation in light of the prospective sale of the club by the incumbent owner.

    “That does not give you a legitimate right to a dereliction of duty to your supporters. Without supporters, Newcastle United does not exist.

    “We have previously contacted Newcastle United to express our concerns at the lack of action by Newcastle United to assist its supporters in a time of need during this unprecedented global health and economic crisis.

    “You have called on the fans of Newcastle United for support so often over the years and when we called for you to stand by your supporters, you did nothing.”

    In March, a number of supporters were charged for their next season ticket, despite the Premier League being suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Fans affected were warned in advance that payment would be taken, and that it was part of the usual payment schedule for those who are on the long-term, price-freeze package.

    Last month a NUST poll of 3,410 members found 96.7% were in favour of the new regime to replace Ashley, who has been in charge for 13 years.

    But NUST board member Greg Tomlinson said the delay to the takeover had left the club and fans “in limbo”.

    He said: “We understand why people can’t comment on it, it’s a confidential process, and obviously the Premier League has been very busy with Project Restart.

    “But now that has been pretty much sorted, hopefully they can make a decision and close it out because not only are the fans in limbo wanting to know what’s happening, but the club is actually in limbo as well.”

    Source

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