Doug M recently contacted TFT about membership refunds for the ‘lost’ 2020 season. He doesn’t think the counties are playing fair. Do you agree? What has your county offered you? Doug sets out his case below. Let us know what you think in the comments …
This is my first go at writing a piece for The Full Toss so trust you will all bear with me.
Most of you will be members of county clubs I suspect, so you will probably be aware that there is a bit of an issue arising about membership refunds for this rather truncated season (or at least there is at some clubs).
I am a member of a 1st division club, which I won’t name here, although many of you will likely know which one I’m talking about. I would be interested as to whether a similar situation is going on at your county.
My club have offered a derisory 25% refund on all categories of membership – which range from championship / one day cup only games to all encompassing memberships that includes a guaranteed seat at international fixtures.
Fees range from around £150 to £350 for these memberships depending on the category. You still have to buy tickets at ground entry on top of this which could be anything from £60 to £100 for England games. In addition there are some vouchers which you can use to purchase food at the ground.
Well the backlash from many of the 1000’s of members has been pretty strong to say the least. Overall the view is that whatever the club rules or general law may say on this issue, it’s a shameful way to treat loyal members, many of whom have been members for over 50 years. I’ve been a member myself for about 23 years.
Many have already cancelled next year’s membership because they are so incensed. Many have also written to the club to express their anger but I doubt it will change the club’s mind.
Although many been happy to simply donate their membership fee and not seek any refund – and I’d do this myself if I was a member of a struggling club – my club is not struggling financially.
One argument from those in favour of this “offer” is that membership is about more than just the games. It also includes voting rights, attendance at meetings, mailings and the club Yearbook. However, this is probably worth about £30 a year. I’m not particularly worried about the money myself but many will no doubt be glad of it in the current circumstances.
I can’t speak for all clubs, of course. However, I do know that two 2nd division clubs have offered a full refund or free membership for next season. In contrast one 1st division club has offered nothing at all.
One wonders what will happen next season if the virus is still around. Who is going to fork out for another year?
A simple analogy: if you pay for something from an online retailer and it turns out that they can’t supply it, would you accept a meagre 25% refund? Obviously not. I see no difference here. You have bought entry to X amount of games of cricket so that’s what you should receive.
Basically I think the whole situation stinks. I’d be interested to hear your views – no matter how critical.
Thanks for listening.