This is what Lee Charnley MUST do at Newcastle United – before it's too late
Lee Charnley needs to do the right thing – sooner rather than later.
The Premier League has confirmed that fans will NOT be allowed into stadiums for the remaining 92 games. The FA Cup is also set to be completed in empty stadiums.
So season-tickets will go unused for Newcastle United’s final five home games, as will FA Cup quarter-final tickets and those bought for the away game at Bournemouth, if football, suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, is successfully restarted later this month.
Other clubs have already refunded monies owed for games which will be played behind closed doors, but managing director Charnley has been silent on the issue.
Newcastle have said nothing. The club, we understand, is yet to confirm its plans for refunds almost three months after the last ball was kicked.
Of course, many fans are experiencing financial difficulties at the moment due to the pandemic. Many in the region have been furloughed on 80% of their wages. Others have lost their jobs.
We just don’t know what supporters will next be allowed back inside St James’s Park.
Fans, of course, have already made payments towards 2020/21 season-tickets, and a large part of next season could also be played behind closed doors. That situation will have to be addressed as well by the club, which could soon be under new ownership.
Of course, the proposed £300million takeover of United, which has been with the Premier League for almost two months, could be a factor in the delay, but we just don’t know.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust has been particularly critical of the lack of communication from the club.
In a letter to its members, it said: “We are sympathetic to the current situation with regards to the takeover ... that it puts certain limits on what the club can and can’t do.
“But one thing we are adamant about is the club CAN communicate to its supporters to explain the circumstances.”
And so we wait. In the meantime, supporters are out of pocket. If the club really does value the extraordinary loyalty of its fanbase, it needs to quickly communicate when and how they will be refunded.