I am writing to members of the Green Army following Tuesday’s official announcement that the 2019/20 Sky Bet League Two season will not resume.
We are entirely supportive of the decision not to return to the pitch right now, with health and safety of our staff, players, and supporters of utmost importance. That said, Ryan, his team, and the players are very disappointed not to be able to play out the remaining games and celebrate promotion alongside our dedicated supporters in the stands.
This does not diminish their achievements, of course. What the coaching staff, back-room team and players have produced on the pitch to bounce back at the first-time of asking is an outstanding effort, and we are immensely proud that we have secured a return to Sky Bet League One by playing such an exciting brand of football – however it may have been confirmed.
We have said this often in the past few weeks, but it is worth repeating - football is nothing without the supporters – which is why we, as a club, are trying to be as transparent, open, and honest as possible during this crisis.
We understand that many of you will have burning questions about what Tuesday’s announcement means for your relationship with Argyle, and, in particular, how the announcement affects Season-Ticket holders.
We have received hundreds of messages of support from the Green Army since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, and we are grateful for those. In truth, though, even with your tremendous support so far, the financial outlook for our industry is very bleak, at least in the short-term.
The club still faces a huge challenge to mitigate the significant revenue shortfall that results from the crisis. As a collective, club staff and the Board of Directors are working tirelessly to investigate all options available to us in tackling this unique situation – with the objective to ensure that the club emerges in the best possible shape.
Recently, we published a survey which asked supporters to provide their thoughts on how we may approach the ticketing situation for the upcoming season, as well as the games missed for those who held tickets for remaining games in the 19/20 campaign.
We received over 4,500 responses, and the strong theme throughout was that members of the Green Army clearly want to do their bit to help the club survive the coronavirus crisis. We are extremely grateful for that.
85% of survey participants responded that they would not ask the club to refund the value of tickets purchased – with 50% (over 2,000 people) indicating that they would like to donate their refund to help keep the club afloat.
The difference that those refund waivers could make in the club’s fight to survive is significant, and your contribution will not be forgotten by any of us at Argyle.
Of course, we understand that not all supporters will be in a position to lend us extra support, and pro-rata refunds will be available to those who need them. However, I feel duty bound to reiterate that ticket revenues represent the club’s primary source of income, and mass refunds will have a critical impact on our ability to operate in the short-term.
We continue to work on our Season-Ticket offering for the 2020/21 season, although, as yet, we are not clear on when the upcoming campaign will begin.
In our ticketing survey, we outlined a number of possible approaches to ticketing for the upcoming campaign, and we are once again thankful for the indicative support from the Green Army.
Nearly 80% of participants answered that they would purchase a Season-Ticket to support the club, even if that meant missing a number of games due to social distancing measures. I cannot reiterate strongly enough that the club does not take this dedicated support lightly.
It is, of course, an unsettling prospect, having to ask supporters to contribute knowing that they may not be able to attend games, but your support via ticketing and retail purchases remains the only prospect of the club bridging the financial chasm that this crisis has created.
The survey has armed us with useful information as we look to provide the most suitable ticketing options for the upcoming season, and our club staff continue to work above and beyond to bring ticketing packages to you at the earliest opportunity.
We have updated our Covid-19 FAQ webpage with our latest guidance. In addition, we have also outlined our ticketing procedures below, for ease of access.
On behalf of everyone at Home Park, let me thank you for your dedicated support, and patience, as we look to navigate the difficulties ahead together as One Argyle.
19-20 Ticketing: The next steps
- Our preferred option, and not one that we take lightly, is that supporters waive their right to a refund. We understand that this may not be possible in all cases, and thank you for your unparalleled generosity and support in these difficult times. This applies to match tickets, season-tickets and flexi-tickets.
- Take a credit note for future ticketing purchases. Match-tickets at face value (less fees), season and flexi tickets will be offered as a pro-rata credit. If an existing ticket holder would like to request a credit note, they must email email@example.com no later than June 30. If no email is received by this date, the club will assume that the ticket holder is waiving their right to a refund.
- Refund. If an existing ticket holder would like to request a refund, they must email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 30. Match-tickets at face value (less fees), season and flexi tickets will be offered as a pro-rata refund. If no email is received by this date, the club will assume that the ticket holder is waiving their right to a refund.
Please note that Flexi-Tickets will not carry over to the 20/21 Sky Bet League One season.
If email is not accessible for some ticket-holders, refund requests can also be processed via mail to: Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Home Park, Plymouth, Devon, PL2 3DQ.
All refund requests will be processed before July 31, 2020.