As Celtic fans celebrated nine in a row, our club did something major which went largely un-noticed by the media.
We finally acted to offer our fans refunds on unused games from their season tickets.
You can now go onto the Celtic site and download a form and claim back some of the money you paid out. This is a fantastic move from our club, and I know how many fans who are struggling right now really appreciate it. This is a tough time for a lot of folk and every little helps.
Celtic has gone even further than that; our tickets for next season include a similar clause.
In other words, they are guaranteed. If you buy one and you don’t get to see games, then you’ll get a refund.
Now, it might well be that you’ll be able to watch them on CelticTV live rather than in the stadium itself – more on that later – but I think most people who’ve opted to buy a season ticket already will feel comforted that the club cares.
Our decision contrasts with the one taken by the club across the city, and their supporters are not in the least bit happy about that. They offered no refund guarantee in their season tickets for the last campaign and offer none in their packages for this one.
They’ve offered their fans a £25 voucher, but some tell me it has to be spend on club merchandise.
Their supporters are naturally concerned about this.
Today, with the announcement that the “virtual season ticket” is a thing, there are questions about exactly what it will mean. Will you have to pay for these separately to a season ticket, or will those who have season tickets be able to use them? How will it work if you’ve bought multiple season tickets for one household? There are a lot of questions to answer.
John Paul Taylor has moved fast to offer a guarantee that, yes, our virtual season ticket will be covered as part of the renewal … which is outstanding.
My feeling was that clubs would sell these packages separate from the physical season ticket. So if you’ve already got your season ticket you would have to purchase a virtual one. But Celtic has already moved to confirm that, in our case, this is not the case.
The question about households is still one the club will need to answer, but it’s certain that a lot of Celtic fans will get their money back from games they are unable to attend … which offers some security at least, and is a positive step.
Not so across town, and I suspect their supporters are not going to be happy. Some of them can already see the writing on the wall, and are furious that the club has been in discussions about the virtual season ticket proposal whilst they are selling physical ones with no refund guarantee.
Others are furious that their season tickets appear to have been renewed automatically, although many of them don’t remember signing up for such a scheme.
They understand this for what it is; a cash grab. The realisation has come late in the day for many of them. For us, it’s another vindication of what we’ve been saying all along; that their club is deep in trouble, and they don’t know how else to get out of it.
Sevco fans should embrace this, I think, instead of moaning about it.
They should look upon this as an act of charity to their overpaid loser footballers; someone has to pay their wages, after all, if the club is to even get through the summer the cash will have to come from somewhere … and it was always going to come from the pockets of their fans.
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