CEO, Karl Evans provides an update for current 2020/21 season ticket holders.
We continue to live in uncertain times within the football industry.
Will we get funding from within football or the government and what form will it take?
When will fans be allowed back into stadia to watch live football, how many and what experience are they likely to encounter?
Will iFollow continue to be complimentary for season ticket holders and will all the viewing issues be ironed out soon?
I am aware that the Club made a few options available to season ticket holders when season 2019/20 was cut short after the cancellation of all remaining fixtures due to the current pandemic.
Firstly, a huge thank you to you all, regardless of which option you chose, we live in very difficult times so those fans that chose any of the options that retained money towards the Club in return for a prize draw or future credits, that was a very kind gesture that Oldham Athletic appreciates. I am aware there are still a few outstanding issues which we will now deal with as we are getting close to being back to being fully staffed, so again thank you very much for your continued patience.
For the 2020/21 campaign, we have currently sold 1,439 season tickets of which approximately 200 fans claimed a five-game discount based on the curtailment of the 2019/20 season. We have had an average of 800 fans tune in to iFollow which would tell us that the majority are using their codes based on 1.5 fans, per household or joining friends and family to watch games or indeed chose to watch the game as part of an illegal screening.
I am also aware we have had issues and as much as we can, we have dealt with them or passed them on to the EFL to deal with. We have been asked by fans to refund the £1.60 per game of excess adult season tickets over the iFollow price which I understand, but the majority of concession season tickets are watching when their price is only £6.95 per game, so that’s something we have to consider.
Some clubs have gone early, not many, assuming iFollow will be there throughout the season, I would prefer to get more solid information on the future before we commit to that, the reason being is that potentially when we do open up for supporters, we may not be at sufficient capacity to allow all season ticket holders to attend and as a result we are likely to need a ballot. The ballot may well be a ‘bubble’ ballot, some fans may not feel comfortable attending if chosen due to their personal circumstances, so we have to consider everyone going forwards.
If we do a full refund, as some clubs have offered, season ticket holders will lose their seat. That’s not a threat, that’s a fact as the system will release the seat for sale so clearly we don’t want a seat that has been passed through generations being lost for good.
My preference is to ask you for some further patience until January 2021 where hopefully the second lockdown will have had the desired effect and we have a clearer picture about the future of football and supporters being allowed to attend games.
It’s important to say though that we do not want to cause any further distress to those fans who have lost a loved one during these terrible times and would ask that you email the firstname.lastname@example.org account who will help you through the process of a refund.
Please stay safe and thank you once again.