The 2019-20 Premier League season would ordinarily have been completed by this stage of the year.
But, unfortunately, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented delay.
Last week, players from clubs up and down the country returned to training ahead of a projected mid-June, behind-closed-doors restart.
This week, they have been given green light to resume contact training by the Government.
However, it is still unknown when it will be safe to allow spectators to return to Premier League grounds en masse, thus leading many clubs to refund their season ticket holders for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
Here is a club-by-club guide on what course of action has been taken regarding season ticket refunds by all 20 sides.
Football being played at the 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium without fans will be a strange sight, but that looks to be the case for the remainder of the campaign.
The club are yet to confirm whether they intend to refund supporters who had purchased a season ticket and will no longer be able to see the remaining four home games of 2019-20.
Interestingly, Arsenal ’s website indicates: “The Club reserves the right to reschedule any Match or, if necessary, play the Match out of view of the public, without notice and without any liability whatsoever,” which sheds some light on whether refunds may or may not be forthcoming.
Aston Villa supporters could find themselves refunded almost a third of the value of their season ticket if the season resumes behind closed doors; Villa fans were supposed to witness six more home games this term.
The club’s official stance has not alluded to a wholesale refund as of yet, but that supporters can apply for refunds for individual match tickets purchased.
Unlike Arsenal and Aston Villa, Bournemouth ’s matchday revenue is the lowest in the top flight, owing to the club’s 11,329 capacity Vitality Stadium.
The club were one of the sides who initially opposed plans for matches to be played behind closed doors.
Bournemouth do appear to have offered a ‘payment holiday’ to some season ticket holders, according to the BBC, and have temporarily suspended renewals for next year.
Brighton and Hove Albion
The Seagulls’ official stance on Project Restart was the strongest in the league, with Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive, slamming plans to resume the season behind closed doors.
As it appears to be becoming more of a possibility, Brighton have reneged on their original stance and have also offered season ticket holders the opportunity to postpone imminently due season ticket payments.
Speaking to local paper The Argus, Barber said that only “about 5-6 percent have taken advantage of that,” with most happy to pay for the remainder of the season.
One of the clubs to officially announce their fans will receive refunds is Burnley. Turf Moor was set to play host to Watford, Brighton, Wolves and Sheffield United before the season’s end.
On the club website, a statement reads: “We are able to confirm that all supporters with tickets for the Clarets’ remaining 4 home Premier League fixtures of the 2019/20 season and the away fixture at Manchester City, which was scheduled for March, are now entitled to a full refund.”
Frank Lampard’s Blues sit in fourth place, trailed by the likes of Manchester United, Wolves and Sheffield United in the race for Champions League places.
As per the club’s official website, Chelsea intend to refund paying customers for any games which are subsequently played behind closed doors.
Selhurst Park plays host to one of the loudest and fervent fanbases in the country. But Palace wil have to go without for their remaining clashes with Spurs, Manchester United, Chelsea and Burnley.
The club insist supporters will be “updated at the first possible opportunity on cpfc.co.uk, the official Palace app and across our official social media channels.”
Goodison Park could have been the ground where Liverpool claimed their first Premier League title in front of their biggest rivals.
That will not be the case, at least not with spectators present.
Everton have announced that season ticket holders will either be credited or refunded the cost of the remaining five home matches they are now unable to attend. The club have also given fans the option to donate their refund to charitable venture Everton in the Community.
Brendan Rodgers side are chasing qualification for the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League.
While Leicester fans will no longer be able to see their side in action in person, they will be refunded for the cost of their outstanding home fixtures. The club have also given fans the option to put any refund towards a season ticket for next year’s campaign.
After a 30-year wait for a league title, Liverpool will have wanted to lift the Premier League trophy at a packed Anfield. Sadly, this opportunity has been taken away.
The party atmosphere on Merseyside matchdays may no longer be possible, but the club are willing to refund match-going supporters for games they will now be forced to watch on TV.
Liverpool have also opted to freeze season ticket prices for next year.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side have little left to play for in the Premier League, other than to ensure second spot is theirs.
For all of the club’s six remaining home games, City supporters have been informed they will be refunded in full, or if they choose, put the refund towards next season’s ticket.
With the largest stadium capacity in the Premier League, Manchester United stand to lose a considerable portion of their annual matchday revenue by refunding season ticket holders.
Nevertheless, that is precisely what the club intend to do, releasing a statement to supporters: "We are committed to refunding ticket costs for these games and want to make the process as easy as possible for all supporters."
A prospective takeover of Newcastle United has fans biting their fingernails and salivating at the prospect of a nouveau-riche Toon Army.
However, word on whether they will receive refunds for games to be played behind closed doors has not been forthcoming.
Fans have also been charged for next season’s games, according to the BBC.
The Canaries are the Premier League’s basement club at present, occupying 20th place.
Norwich were due to play five games at home between March and May, and fans have been informed they will receive refunds on a pro-rata basis for the games which they are now unable to attend.
Chris Wilder’s Blades have enjoyed a fantastic return to the top flight, currently enjoying the heights of seventh place and a shot at European qualification.
They are one of the few clubs yet to announce their intentions for supporter refunds. However, the club is not selling next year’s season tickets while uncertainty remains over the global situation.
Ralph Hasenhuttl and his Saints side were due to play host to the likes of Arsenal and Brighton before the season’s end.
According to the BBC, the club are awaiting confirmation from the league before issuing a statement on 2019-20 season ticket refunds. They have urged fans who use a third-party finance provider to pay for season tickets to consult those companies directly.
Spurs fans were looking forward to a North London derby and a visit from Manchester United before the mass postponement.
A statement on the club’s website indicates refunds will be issued, however a refund must be explicitly requested or the cost will go towards a season ticket for next year.
Nigel Pearson took over the Hornets just a few months ago but looks to have steadied the ship at Vicarage Road.
The club were opposed to Project Restart’s notion of neutral venues but as yet, they have not outlined whether season ticket refunds will be issued.
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