Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Season Ticket Reward Refunds - Where Are They?

Original Offer

'Your Loyalty Rewarded' - this was the slogan in the 2010/11 season ticket brochure. The deal was that for every friend existing season ticket holders could persuade to sign up, they would receive 10% of the cost of their own season ticket back as a reward. This seemed like a great idea, and with the club sorely lacking in ideas in a commercial sense down the years, a breath of fresh air. In the end, promotion to the Premier League probably meant that no such incentives were necessary, with the full allocation of season tickets being snapped up in no time at all.


The small print in the brochure explained the following: "All reward refunds due will be paid by Wednesday 1 December 2010". Sounds straightforward, right? At the time of writing it is now two weeks on from that date, and as yet no refunds appear to have been paid. No reason for this has been forthcoming from the club, and interestingly the local media have been silent on the issue too. This blog emailed the club but did not receive a response. The only tidbits of information have come via message board tittle-tattle, where one poster claimed to have received the following response from the ticket office:


We are just waiting for the chairman and the accounts dept to sort out how we will be refunding the money, either by cheque or on to a card. They will advertise it when everything is sorted and let people know.

Many Thanks
Ticket Office

Of course, there's every possibility that this message did not come from the club, but given past experience of how the club operates, it would not at all be surprising. As this blog has written about in the past, Karl Oyston has a reputation for keeping a tight grip on control, and this appears to be another prime example of his micro-management. The worrying thing here is that the club should still be sorting out 'how to refund the money'. The brochure clearly stated that all monies would be repaid by 1st December, so it's only natural to expect that a plan of how they approach the refund process would have been in place way before the due date. 


Season tickets went on sale in early May, which has given the club over half a year to formulate a plan. It's fair to say of course that getting up to speed with life in the Premier League will have occupied the top level management at the club, but this issue being unresolved is a massive oversight. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that some people would have recommended 10 friends and thus be due a cash reward of approximately £360. In these austere times, and with Christmas just around the corner, the outstanding money would obviously have significantly helped a number of people. The club has let them down.

Cost to the club

So why has the club failed to meet their commitment? One possible reason is that the amount of refunds due was more than the club anticipated. To examine the potential numbers involved, let's analyse season ticket uptake in 09/10 and 10/11. In 09/10 the number of season ticket holders was around the 5,000 mark with that figure rising to around 11,000 for 'Pool's Premier League debut season. These are crude numbers, but give a difference of 6,000. If all of those new season ticket holders were introduced by a friend, then the potential refund payout of £36 for each of the 6,000 introduced fans would be a surprisingly high £216,000.

It's unlikely that all 6,000 new season ticket holders submitted their application citing a referral from a friend, but if even only half did, it leaves the club with a bill in excess of £100,000. While it is not acceptable, you can see why the club appear hesitant to pay out on their pledge. Going back to the rumours emanating from the club, I believe the key phrase in their supposed email is 'how we will be refunding the money'. It's not inconceivable to think that Karl Oyston may try to offer the refunds as a credit note against future purchases at the club, be it in the form of merchandise, match tickets or next year's season ticket. This too would go against the original agreement however. The FAQ in the season ticket brochure clearly states 'You will receive a 10 per cent cash back reward'.

What now?

All of this reinforces the mystery around the non-payment. The club set themselves a date to pay the refund - this was not met. The club stated how the refund would be paid - cash. So what's the hold up? The clock is ticking and each day this situation goes on beyond the December 1st deadline makes the club look more neglectful towards its hardcore support. For now, all we have is silence from the club. If Blackpool are ever to be taken seriously at Premier League level, issues like this are an unwanted sideshow.


  1. Reply from Ticket Office re timescale:

    Flag this messageRe: Season Ticket Cashback RewardWednesday, 15 December, 2010 2:56From: "Ticket Office" Add sender to ContactsTo: "Willy Benson" Unfortunately no dates have been given to us. As soon as a decision is made by higher powers, an announcement will go out.

    Sorry for any inconveniance.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Willy Benson
    To: Ticket Office
    Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 8:40 AM
    Subject: Re: Season Ticket Cashback Reward

    Thank you for your reply.

    Do you have a timescale, given that your brochure gave 1 December as the date refunds would be made?

    --- On Tue, 14/12/10, Ticket Office wrote:

    From: Ticket Office
    Subject: Re: Season Ticket Cashback Reward
    To: "Willy Benson"
    Date: Tuesday, 14 December, 2010, 2:48


    We are just waiting for the chairman and the accounts dept to sort out how we will be refunding the money, either by cheque or on to a card. They will advertise it when everything is sorted and let people know.
    Many Thanks
    Ticket Office
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Willy Benson
    Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 9:16 AM
    Subject: Season Ticket Cashback Reward

    What is happening with this scheme please? Your application booklet stated that cashback rewards would be paid by 1 December.

    Thank you.

    ReplyReply AllMove...Go to Previous message | Go to Next message | Back to Messages Select Message EncodingASCII (ASCII)Greek (ISO-8859-7)Greek (Windows-1253)Latin-10 (ISO-8859-16)Latin-3 (ISO-8859-3)Latin-6 (ISO-8859-10)Latin-7 (ISO-8859-13)Latin-8 (ISO-8859-14)Latin-9 (ISO-8859-15)W. European (850)W. European (CP858)W. European (HPROMAN8)W. European (MACROMAN8)W. European (Windows-1252)Armenia (ARMSCII-8)Baltic Rim (ISO-8859-4)Baltic Rim (WINDOWS-1257)Cyrillic (866)Cyrillic (ISO-8859-5)Cyrillic (KOI8-R)Cyrillic (KOI8-RU)Cyrillic (KOI8-T)Cyrillic (KOI8-U)Cyrillic (WINDOWS-1251)Latin-2 (852)Latin-2 (ISO-8859-2)Latin-2 (WINDOWS-1250)Turkish (ISO-8859-9)Turkish (WINDOWS-1254)Arabic (ISO-8859-6,ASMO-708)Arabic (WINDOWS-1256)Hebrew (856)Hebrew (862)Hebrew (WINDOWS-1255)Chinese Simplified (GB-2312-80)Chinese Simplified (GB18030)Chinese Simplified (HZ-GB-2312)Chinese Simplified (ISO-2022-CN)Chinese Simplified (WINDOWS-936)Chinese Trad.-Hong Kong (BIG5-HKSCS)Chinese Traditional (BIG5)Chinese Traditional (EUC-TW)Japanese (SHIFT_JIS)Japanese (EUC-JP)Japanese (ISO-2022-JP)Korean (ISO-2022-KR)Korean (EUC-KR)Thai (TIS-620-2533)Thai (WINDOWS-874)Vietnamese (TCVN-5712)Vietnamese (VISCII)Vietnamese (WINDOWS-1258)Unicode (UTF-7)Unicode (UTF-8)Unicode (UTF-16)Unicode (UTF-32)| Full Headers Reply Reply All Forward Forward

    Mail Search

    WelcomeInboxNewFoldersMail Options

  2. Interesting response Willy.

    The reference to "higher powers" confirms thoughts around KO keeping a tight leash on things, and good to know that professionalism is being maintained with the spelling of 'inconveniance'.

  3. I replied with a request that they ask the "higher powers" to say when they are likely to be making their decision, and how much interest they are going to pay on the late payment.

    I have not received a reply!

  4. Sounds about par for the course.

    Not good enough, is it?

  5. I emailed BSA chairman to ask if he knew anything about this.

    He has contacted the club and asked for a timescale for making the payments and for it to be advertised.

  6. Try. Won't pay. Don't pay. Why pay?