Canaries acknowledge potential for behind closed doors games with refunds
Norwich City have confirmed how fans with tickets for the remaining games of the 2019-20 season can claim a financial rebate, acknowledging that if matches can be played then they are likely to be behind closed doors.
Canaries season ticket holders, and those who had bought tickets for the outstanding games, have been waiting for confirmation of behind closed doors matches as the Premier League continues to explore how and when it is safe to conclude the suspended season.
City have nine games of the campaign still to play, as well as a home FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United. The Carrow Road league games are against Everton, Southampton, Brighton, West Ham and Burnley, with trips to Arsenal, Chelsea, Watford and Manchester City.
A club spokesman explained: “Norwich City Football Club have made the decision to begin the rebate process for those supporters that have committed to a matchday ticket or experience, or who have a seasonal product (season tickets, memberships), for our remaining Premier League games or FA Cup tie in the 2019-20 season.
“The decision has been made following a recent government announcement, in which it was confirmed that no professional sport, even behind closed doors, will take place in England until June 1 at the earliest.
“All supporters impacted will be entitled to a refund, with the club committed to ensuring that those affected do not miss out financially. The club estimates that approximately 36,000 supporters will be impacted.”
- See below for the full refund details released by the Canaries.
The spokesman concluded: “All at Norwich City would like to thank supporters for their patience during what remains an uncertain and ever-changing situation. We continue to ask that supporters stay safe and follow the government guidelines surrounding Covid-19.”
City’s chief operating officer Ben Kensell spoke last month of potentially costly rebates of around £9million to supporters and commercial partners if games were played without spectators.
It remains to be seen if all fans and sponsors will claim their refunds for this season but attentions will soon turn to the 2020-21 campaign, which the Premier League is still intending to play in full.
However, amid the social distancing guidelines of the coronavirus pandemic and the national uncertainty over how long it will be before large crowds are allowed to gather in public again, it’s unclear if part of that season will also be played behind closed doors.
The Canaries have around 22,000 season ticket holders and around 14,000 of those spread the cost of their payment over 12 months thanks to an interest-free direct debit scheme, with 2020-21 season payments having started at the end of March.
Over 20,000 supporters had already renewed for next season ahead of the first payment deadline of February 21 despite City’s precarious survival prospects, currently sitting six points from safety with nine games outstanding.
If some of the 2020-21 campaign does end up being played behind closed doors as well then the financial impact would become even more drastic for City and all clubs, with huge amounts in rebates potentially owed to supporters.
That’s without even factoring in the potentially drastic drop in income the Canaries have hanging over their heads due to the uncertainty of whether they will be able to retain Premier League status.
As a self-funded club without the wealthy backing that many of their rivals receive, the revenue generated from season tickets is of huge importance to City’s financial health - with gate receipts and ticket sales totalling just short of £10million in the club’s financial accounts for 2018-19.
- The following refund details have been released by City on their official website.
Season ticket holders and members (2019-20)
Season ticket holders and members will be entitled to a full pro rata refund for all games that they are no longer able to attend. The club will confirm full details on the refund options available and how to claim these in due course. Work is ongoing to ensure this process is as seamless as possible.
Casual match tickets (2019-20)
Fans who have purchased a casual match ticket for an upcoming home or away league fixture, and or the home FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United, will have their match ticket automatically refunded by the end of May. The refund will be automatically issued onto the payment card that was used during the purchasing process.
Those who purchased tickets via any other method will be contacted by the club’s ticket office.
Matchday experiences (2019-20)
Any fan who has purchased a matchday experience, including mascot packages, for the 2019-20 season for any remaining home match at Carrow Road which they will now be unable to attend will be automatically refunded. The club’s Experiences Manager will be in touch with these customers directly to confirm the refund process.
Match-by-match hospitality (2019-20)
Any fan who has purchased match-by-match hospitality for any of the club’s remaining fixtures will be automatically refunded. The club’s hospitality team will be in touch with all those supporters affected.