Government urged to step in over football club's ticket refund policy

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Government urged to step in over football club's ticket refund policy

Government ministers have been urged to step in amid allegations that Premier League club Newcastle United is “completely and unnecessarily” withholding ticket refunds from supporters.

Labour’s Ian Mearns (Gateshead) said many Magpies’ fans could “do with the money” back during the coronavirus crisis, as he condemned the club – currently owned by Mike Ashley – in the House of Commons.

Top-flight football fixtures have resumed during the pandemic but no supporters are allowed to attend matches.

Some clubs have refunded season ticket holders and those with tickets for specific fixtures or offered fans the choice to leave the cash in their club.

Speaking at business questions, Mr Mearns said: “Could the Leader of the House crave the indulgence of some of his colleagues in the business teams to look at what Newcastle United are doing in terms of being an outlier within the Premier League, who are completely and unnecessarily withholding refunds for tickets for games that they know aren’t going to be played in front of fans?

“They’re withholding those refunds from fans, paying customers, many of whom frankly in the current climate could do with the money.”

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg replied: “It would not be fair of me to talk specifically about an individual company or sports organisation making refunds.

“It’s a problem, it’s an issue across the economy, with many businesses very stretched for cash but consumers expecting to get their money back.

“It is a problem the Government is aware of and there are a variety of routes for people to get money back.

“If the company directly isn’t able to do it, sometimes a credit card company may be able to help.”

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