Sunderland, like every other club in the lower reaches of the EFL, have been forced to issue some ticket refunds for the curtailed 2019/20 season.
The Black Cats are far and away the biggest player in the third tier, but they have been unable to find a way back after relegation in 2017/18. With parachute payments ending and many players still on decent money, their financial situation is of increasing alarm to supporters.
Once upon a time, they could pay an eight-figure fee for a player without batting an eyelid, but despite spending big on Will Grigg, the current climate has got fans worried. The club have extended their furlough scheme today, without the club top up, and yesterday issued an update on season ticket refunds and when they can be expected, which is a few weeks yet.
One of the problems with being a big player when something like this hits is the financial commitment to the supporters. With more season ticket holders comes more refunds, so money that has likely been budgeted for has to go back. Asking fans to keep the money in the club is one approach, but not everyone can afford to do so right now.
The financial landscape looks bleak for many clubs this season (not Mansfield apparently), but in the north east, there seems to be a real fear for the future, as the responses to the club’s ST announcement demonstrates.
This club really is skint and in very serious situation #DonaldOut
— TWANGMACKEM8258™️ 🏴🇧🇦 (@twangmackem) June 29, 2020
So you are keeping "Valued" Season card holders waiting a further 6 weeks? Disgusting announcement once again!
— ☠ Mr. GothikRokkit ☠ (@GothikRokkit) June 29, 2020
Honestly disgusted at how our club is been run. Averaging over 30k fans for the two worst years in our history yet you continue to treat the very people who supported you in these times with such disrespect. You’ve completely lost touch with the fans and what this club represents
— Steph Charlton (@Stephburt21) June 29, 2020
While we are on the subject of refunds, when are the cockney chancers going to give the club the £20 million back they stole ? If They do that then we won’t be in a position where we need to sell mumba or get rid of academy players in bulk. #shambles #Donaldout
— Chris Black (@Cblack12345) June 29, 2020
Ile say just about what everybody else is correctly saying . . .SD sod off you arnt wanted, pay back parachute money first
— clockstand LM (@LeighMa79471576) June 29, 2020
So we (season card holders) must wait until the season has started before we can get a refund? How does the crossover of fixtures and the refund deadline work?
Will you give us the streaming pass then take that off the refunded amount? A very vague statement as usual! 🤦♂️
— Gregg P (@GreggSAFC) June 29, 2020
So the valued ST holders are laser and paid after you take DD for next season. Not even attempting to hide the disdain for the fans. Basically saying , “ we can do what we want and will”.
— John Graham (@johngraham790) June 29, 2020