On Monday we launched our season ticket package for the upcoming season and all 2020/21 season ticket holders should have received a pack by now asking for their continued support by renewing their ticket.
We have been asked by a number of fans about the possibility of refunds, or other compensation, for last season given that national COVID-related restrictions made it impossible to attend games and that the season was cut short by the actions of the Scottish football authorities. We wanted to take this opportunity to address these issues directly.
What About Refunds?
At the end of the 2019/20 season, we offered season ticket holders a refund on games missed due to the pandemic. Fewer than 3% of our supporters took up this offer, which allowed the club to retain valuable funds at a time when many of our other income sources had ground to a halt. For this we thank you all.
We recognise that you missed out on three home games from last season as a result of the curtailed fixture list. If all season ticket holders received a cash refund for the missing games this would cost the club around £75,000. If we were to pay this money out it would severely affect our squad building for the coming season.
Last season was a massive disappointment. Not only did it end badly, but you had to watch games on TV so did not get the match day experience. We recognise this and want to compensate you without damaging the club and impairing our ability to get out of League One, which we know is everyone’s ambition.
What Are We Doing?
We did not want to delay the launch of our season tickets any longer and have been in dialogue with the SPFL about the Premier Sports (previously Betfred) Cup games. We are pleased that we can now announce that we will provide FREE access for up to 1,000 2021/22 season ticket holders for our two home group games on July 13 & 17. Unfortunately, these matches will be restricted to 1,000 supporters given current Covid restrictions, so if we cannot get you into the ground for the first game you will almost certainly have access for the second game. Due to restrictions on live streaming for this competition we are not allowed to live stream either of our two home games though discussions with Premier Sports are ongoing. If the position changes we will let you know.
Free access to these games remains in addition to the announcements we have already made on our new Season Ticket Lottery and setting aside shares for the new Supporters Association.
We are also looking at other ways to provide added value to our season ticket holders through discounts on club merchandise and other benefits with local businesses and will update you on these offers as they progress. We hope to be in a position to talk more about this at the upcoming Board Q&A.
Season Tickets Are So Important To Our Club
Season ticket revenue is the lifeblood of almost every club in Scotland and Falkirk is no different. It is our single largest source of income. In the current circumstances it also presents us with our biggest headache. Current Covid restrictions mean that we can have up to 1000 fans in the stadium while we are in level 1 and up to 2000 if we move to level 0. This likely means that unless you are a season ticket holder for the coming season it will be impossible to see our home games live. We hope this situation changes during the coming season, but we are not in control of those decisions.
We are already committed to providing Paul Sheerin with a playing squad budget that we believe is the largest in the league and have recently restarted our youth development programme. If we reduce season ticket prices or offer cash refunds, we are simply reducing the amount of money that we can spend and will then be forced to make very difficult decisions about the playing squad and youth development, something no one wants us to do.
The Club Needs You At This Time
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for everyone and that choices need to be made about how money is spent. We also recognise that not everyone has the ability to spend money on a season ticket.
We hope that we have demonstrated the efforts we are making to compensate season ticket holders. We also hope that you understand how vital season ticket revenue is for the success of the club. However, if you still would prefer to receive a refund for the three home games that you missed last season, we would ask you to write to the club at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will honour your request.
We look forward to welcoming you all back to the Falkirk Stadium very soon!