We asked the Club to explain the reasons why it had taken that decision. It has done so, but we do not find the reasons given to be either convincing or to sufficiently address supporters’ concerns, so today we have sent a formal letter to the Club’s board. In that letter, we clearly respond to the Club’s reasoning, emphasise why we still oppose the move, and make a number of practical suggestions to resolve the situation.
Those suggestions are:
• Ideally, we’d like to see the deadline put back to the end of May and a re-establishment of the principle that one season should end before payment for the next season is made.
• If, for some reason, that is not possible – and we’d like a credible explanation of why it may not be – we would like to see the Club stick with the mid-May renewal date that worked perfectly well last year.
• If a compelling and convincing reason does become clear for why it is essential for the renewal date to be 30 April, we would urge the Club to consider options for phased payment of STs. One such option was suggested by a previous THST board some years ago, but was rejected on the basis that such a scheme was too difficult to introduce with a paper-based ST system. Now we have a card-based system, that difficulty has been removed and it should be relatively straightforward for an experienced ticketing system to build the programme needed to implement such a scheme.
• That phasing could still be based on seeking commitment from fans to purchase a ST on the new, early, deadline date, with payment or payments taken at later dates. The use of such a system through Direct Debit is not uncommon practice, and would enable the Club to plan clearly on the basis of income committed, while easing the financial burden on fans.
We hope the Club sees the wisdom of reconsidering its decision. It imposes a further financial burden on ordinary fans who make the most significant financial contribution to the Club, and detracts from the positive news about the price freeze.
We urge as many fans as possible to make their feelings on the new, early deadline clear to the Club. And, as always, we are keen to hear your views on the stance we take and how we can move forward – please write to us at info@THSTOfficial.com.
We’ll keep you informed of progress on this issue through this site.