This article is written on the assumption that the proposed takeover of Newcastle United goes ahead sometime in the coming weeks.

Leaving aside the whole takeover business for a while, lets talk about season tickets for St James’ Park.

There are a number of practical issues which will need to be resolved both in the world of football generally, and at Newcastle United in particular.

These issues affect both the club and its long-suffering fans.

For example, much has been written about whether the 2019/2020 season, currently suspended since 13th March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will ever be completed. Or will it just be written off?

There is currently a suggestion that the 90-odd remaining Premier League games should be played at neutral grounds with no fans present. Some clubs are not happy with that suggestion, particularly those in danger of relegation who would prefer to retain home advantage for the home games they have left to play.

One thing is certain though – fans will not be allowed to attend remaining games. This impacts season ticket holders, who have paid for these games up front and who will therefore reasonably expect a refund from the club. This could be in the form of a credit or discount against the cost of their season ticket for next season.

This is all further complicated by the fact no-one knows when season 2020/2021 will be scheduled to start or whether fans will even be allowed at that stage to attend those games?

It’s all a bit of a mess really.

There was a suggestion that clubs might ask TV companies to broadcast all remaining 90-odd EPL games left so that fans could watch them and the clubs could try to wriggle out of having to pay refunds. However, the TV companies are unhappy at the moment, having paid a fortune to televise games that aren’t happening and subsequently are losing subscription revenue hand over fist.

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Season Ticket Renewals
The other debate currently taking place amongst United fans is “who should get season tickets under the new owners?” Some fans who boycotted the club over the last 13 years in protest at Ashley’s ownership apparently view themselves as the real fans, the passionate fans and that they should be given priority to reclaim tickets they gave up on principle.

Whilst I have a degree of sympathy with some of the sentiment behind these views, I’m afraid the business world doesn’t work like that!

I think it’s fairly certain that the normal rules will apply. Current season ticket holders at some stage in the future – god knows when! – will be invited to renew their tickets. The remaining (10,000?) tickets will be sold on a basis to be decided by the new owners, and will no doubt be in great demand.

I was going to finish with a question – what if the new owners decide to ramp up significantly the cost of tickets? But not wanting to start a riot, maybe that’s a debate best left for another day!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

You can also join the discussion at the UTD111 Forum!

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