I’m sure you’ve all heard the news coming from the club via another statement, this time regarding refunds on season tickets, and more importantly the fact that we won’t be getting one. Instead, the club are rewarding the loyal, paying fans of Sunderland AFC by giving us a streaming pass, so we can watch the thrilling League One football being played behind closed doors.
Now if this was news to you, you’d probably think that the club would follow that statement up by telling us that the payment would be reduced, include a voucher for the club shop, at least provide the option of a refund. Surely, you’d expect some form of goodwill gesture as a kind of thank you for supporting the club financially through these troubling times? Nope. We’re getting a shoddy live stream with one camera angle. That’s it.
This is an absolute joke. I’ve tried to stay balanced when discussing Donald and Methven in the past, maybe arguing that their heart is in the right place. There is absolutely no way of defending these charlatans after today. They came to Sunderland looking to make a quick buck and sell to the highest bidder. Despite what they claim, it’s not us fans that “scare off” potential investors. It’s them. They gave jobs to under skilled mates from Eastleigh, they cut corners and pinched pennies every step of the way, they gave us false dawn after false dawn. How can they expect fans to commit £300 plus to the club when we can’t trust where the money’s going? Even if people did pay the money to help the club out and keep it afloat, there’s no way of knowing that the money won’t just go into their pocket, like that 20 million pounds that they wrote off recently.
Is this even legal? Can they just deny us a refund and give us something we didn’t pay for? I’m no law expert and I’m not pretending to have any knowledge of the law, but surely they have to at least offer us a refund, or at the very minimum reduce the cost. According to the Q&A, if a family of four all live together and all have season tickets, they could be paying around a thousand pounds to gather round a laptop. As a very, very minimum they could offer some kind of incentive or discount for multiple renewals. I’m not alone when I say that one of the most important parts of football is the social aspect, an opportunity to see family and friends and that’s partially what I pay my money for. Nobody wants to watch a terrible game of football with no atmosphere and no fans.
One of the most concerning factors of the statement is the tone of it. In particularly the short, sharp answer of “No, as detailed above”. This stinks of Charlie Methven implying “I’ve said it once, do I have to repeat myself?” The patronising nature of this is just not on. We’ve put up with so much from this lot, but we can’t keep going on like this. It’s a football club, not a shop or service where we can be treated as nothing more than customers. It’s a football club, and it’s our football club. Not theirs.