Ipswich Town close to offering a ‘range of options’ as part of season ticket refund policy
PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 June 2020
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Ipswich Town are set to announce season and match ticket refund details in the next two weeks, we understand.
The League One season was curtailed early on June 9, following a vote among clubs, in which the Blues insisted they wanted to play on and complete their match schedule behind-closed-doors during the coronavirus crisis.
Ipswich had five home games remaining in what was a reduced Portman Road schedule in 2019/20 in any case, due to the fact Bury were expelled from the league last summer.
The Blues are one of a handful of League One clubs yet to announce details regarding potential refunds but it’s understood the club’s policy for both season tickets and individual match tickets is close to being finalised after several weeks of talks.
One reason behind the delay is the fact the club are in the process switching ticket providers, moving to world-leading SeatGeek, with that partnership not beginning until July and preparation already underway. The club would also need to bring ticket office staff off the government’s furlough scheme in order to process any potential refunds, with details of the scheme changing next month to enable businesses to bring staff back part-time. The vast majority of the club’s off-field staff have been furloughed since the start of April.
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It’s understood the club will present a range of options to supporters, mirroring moves made by other League One clubs this summer.
Offering a refund on season tickets would likely cost the Blues in the region of £800,000 to £1million if they were all taken up, although a large section of supporters have already indicated they do not expect their money back and would be happy to leave it with the club.
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The vast majority of League One clubs have made their refund policies public, with Peterborough the only one not to offer a full refund to those who want it. The London Road club have instead offered to use the money as credit towards season tickets over two future seasons (2021/22 and 2022/23) and have also given supporters the opportunity to donate outstanding money to the club’s academy. A significant number are said to have taken the latter option.
While offering full refunds, Rotherham, Portsmouth and Lincoln have also given fans the chance to donate their money to the club’s charitable arms, as have MK Dons, who have also offered supporters a free 2020/21 away shirt as part of their compensation package.
Wycombe, AFC Wimbledon and Tranmere have both made refunds available but have also urged supporters to leave their money in the club, with the Dons saying that would be ‘the best possible way of supporting the club at a tough time’. Tranmere say refunding fans would cost them in the region of £250,000 at a time when they have been relegated to League Two.
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Sunderland have also offered supporters a full refund on season tickets in what was a u-turn from a heavily criticised initial decision to only offer streaming passes, prior to the season being ended early.
Gillingham, Rochdale, Bolton and Southend are among the clubs yet to announce their refund policies, with Doncaster saying they will do so later this week.
Town last month made season tickets for the 2020/21 season available to existing ticket holders only, with a significant number said to have renewed despite the prospect of the new campaign beginning behind-closed-doors.
There are hopes, however, of reduced capacities being allowed by September, meaning a limited number of fans could return to grounds. At present the aim is for League One to resume in line with the Premier League and Championship in September, though that is far from certain.
Crowds of up to 5,000 are now allowed to attend events in France while Barcelona are hopeful of opening the Nou Camp to 30,000 fans (a third of its capacity) in the coming weeks.