When (not if) the season is called, the dirty little subject will rear its head, Celtic have five postponed home league games on the season ticket. While Celtic are likely to be Last Man Standing after the financial crisis that will engulf the game following on from the health crisis, we are set to lose tens of millions of pounds and will inevitably lose money over this period.
What next season will look like remains uncertain; we don’t know when football will resume behind closed doors, when fans will be able to attend or enough clubs will survive to give us a competition. With so many doubts, we cannot be complacent, which is why players and execs took a pay cut and non-essential staff were furloughed. In short, we need to retain as much income reduce costs where possible.
There is another side of this story. We have over 50,000 season ticket holders, many of whom have been without an income in weeks, some are on reduced wages and, inevitably, some will have no job to return to when furlough ends. As a club, we have to offer a refund for those five games, cash is too important for a family that has none, they cannot put food on the table with a Superstore voucher.
Partick Thistle offered fans a refund and those who needed it, took it, but 96.5% of season ticket holders left the money in their club. By any standards, that is incredible. I suspect the demographics of the Celtic support are different; we have plenty of wealthy fans, but I know many who put a huge portion of their disposable income into following Celtic, almost certainly a higher percentage than Partick.
More Celtic fans will need a refund to get through the month, so it should be offered – as soon as possible after the season is called.