Newcastle United have confirmed that season-ticket holders and fans who have bought individual match tickets for the rest of the 2019-20 season can obtain a refund or equivalent account credit for the remaining games set to be played behind closed doors.
The St. James’ Park outfit are the last Premier League side to do so, and it took the efforts of the fans and Newcastle Member of Parliament Chi Onwurah for Mike Ashley to reverse the decision.
#NUFC are the only @premierleague team not to refund fans for games played behind closed doors! Fans direct debits continue to be taken at the request of @nufctrust & other fans I have written to the Sec of State to see if he will support #NUFC fans in their struggle for a refund pic.twitter.com/8fEhsjZbx8
— chi onwurah (@ChiOnwurah) June 5, 2020
Five of Newcastle’s remaining nine league fixtures will take place in an empty St. James’ Park, with the first coming against Sheffield United on Sunday.
Some Magpies fans think the club’s ticket refunds’ decision is a hint that the proposed £300 million takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is edging closer, and one of them has asked The Athletic’s George Caulkin about it:
No, they’re still waiting for the PL. I assume the club feel the need to do this before the first game back but they’re not connected.
— George Caulkin (@GeorgeCaulkin) June 18, 2020
Ashley’s latest decision to allow the club to communicate on the tickets’ refund is just him finally bowing to the pressure after Newcastle fans kept demanding for one, but a U-turn isn’t expected on his decision to furlough a majority of the staff despite football resuming.
The fans can’t wait to see him back and are hoping the PIF, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers succeed with their takeover bid.
The Premier League is currently carrying out its directors’ and owners’ test, and that has taken more than two months, with Saudis’ links with piracy complicating things.