Supporters’ Trust statement on inclusion of Academy contribution in season ticket renewal
ITFC 1st has become aware that season ticket holders whose renewals have been processed automatically by the Club, are having the £120 Academy Friend charge automatically added to their Direct Debits.
We urge all members to check the amounts that the Club are planning to deduct via Direct Debit, either by logging into ITFC Direct and looking under “Purchase History”, by contacting the ticket office on 0844 801 1555, or by looking carefully at the letter, giving payment schedules, which we understand is being sent out to season ticket holders soon.
At the time of writing we have not been able to get an official statement or response from the Club and the Supporter Liaison Officer is currently away. The club have advised via their official Twitter feed that there is an ‘opt-out’ option from the Academy Friend donation which involves emailing the ticket office on firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITFC 1st has received feedback from a number of members who are unhappy about the automatic addition of Academy Friend donations, given that many supporters are already having to stretch themselves financially to afford a season ticket. An automatic £120 addition to this cost could cause significant problems for those already on a tight budget, and the Trust’s view is that this is a poorly-judged move by ITFC which will not inspire goodwill from supporters towards the Club or the Academy.
Quite apart from ethical considerations, we are seeking advice on the legality of this move, and will be taking this issue up with the Club at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime we urge members to be vigilant about checking their Direct Debit schedules from ITFC, to respond to the Club promptly and appropriately, and to contact us directly with any views on this development which you would like us to convey to the Club.
The Trust believes that this is totally unacceptable and it will be putting pressure on the club to ensure that only fans who have specifically opted in to this payment scheme are charged the extra £120 – rather than putting the onus on the season ticket holder to cancel it.
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