Football swindle as fans pay to see lost players

From: Father Neil McNicholas, High Street, Yarm.

SO begins the annual football “swindle” with the close-season departure of key players like Robin van Persie from Manchester United and Raheem Sterling from Liverpool.

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Typically clubs will offer their season ticket holders a slight reduction on the cost of renewing their tickets if they make that commitment before a certain date – usually before the end of the previous season. Those who choose to do so no doubt base their decision not only on the potential performance of their club, but also on the players they hope to be watching. But then, after the fact, the transfer market opens up with the risk of players they’ve paid to see leaving the club.

It’s like going to a dealership to buy a car, seeing one you like and paying for it, only to find that when it arrives it’s not what you paid for. That wouldn’t be allowed by law and so why do football clubs get away with it?

Only occasionally might a new star player arrive that the fans weren’t expecting when they paid, and that would be a bonus – like a free tank of petrol or a year’s insurance. If clubs want to reward their loyal fans and encourage them to continue supporting the club, at least let them see what they’ll be paying for – or allow them a refund if they are not satisfied.