Joe Crann: One thing Sheffield Wednesday got very right
In a world where so many people seem to be getting so much wrong, I thought it was right to commend Sheffield Wednesday on getting their season ticket situation very right.
On June 20th, Wednesday will line up against Nottingham Forest in an eerily quiet game at Hillsborough as the Championship season restarts after more than three months out. Fans will be able to watch it online, and the club’s stance on season tickets is – I feel – something that has to be commended.
It seems like plenty of people, in plenty of industries, are making decisions that aren’t necessarily the best for those on the ground, but the fact that SWFC have offered such a plethora of options for their fans suggests they won’t be one of them.
Given the fact that, if they were to issue refunds to all of their season ticket holders – including the general loss of matchday income from hospitality, the megastore etc – Wednesday would be looking at upwards of £2,000,000 in financial losses, there had been worries that may not be on the table.
But refunds were vital, in my eyes. If nothing else, refunds had to be made available to those that wanted them, because circumstances have changed. Fans have been laid off and furloughed, their financial situation may look drastically different to how it did pre-Coronavirus, and the fact that the club have recognised that is excellent – and right.
They’ve taken things a step further though, and while the finer details are still being worked out, Wednesday have stated that they will be offering ‘equivalent value in ticket credit, merchandise points or donation opportunities’ on top of the pro rata refund, while games can we watched on iFollow.
With this kind of flexibility, Wednesday have basically made sure that there’s something for everyone. Those that need their money back, can get their money back. Those that want something that they can put back into the club via the megastore or future tickets, can do so. And for the lucky few who can afford it, and really want to help in what is a tough period for all football clubs, a donation route is also going to be available.
For a family of four, who are all season ticket holders, you could have one converted into an iFollow season pass bundle, use two to pick up next season’s shirt, and then one to knock money off a ticket for a game when Hillsborough is back to her old self again. The amount of options available are key here.
Meanwhile, in other news on the ticket front, SWFC are moving to SeatGeek – a big deal in the ticketing system world – for next season, and are urging fans to head over to tickets.swfc.co.uk and set their new password in order to have access to the number of rebate options that are going to be available.
As for me, I’ll be watching Wednesday v Forest on iPlayer from Johannesburg as I continue my wait for a flight home from South Africa, and I’m hoping that June can go a bit better than March for SWFC.