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Clegg: Town Guided By League Regulations
Clegg: Town Guided By League Regulations
Saturday, 11th Feb 2012 20:43

Chief executive Simon Clegg says the Blues are abiding by Football League regulations by offering a 50% discount on matchday tickets to the restaging of today’s abandoned Town-Middlesbrough fixture, but no refund. Referee Dean Whitestone called a 37th-minute halt to the match with the score 0-0 due to areas of the Portman Road pitch having become unplayable.

Clegg told TWTD: “We are guided by Football League regulations on these matters and the terms and conditions to cover this eventuality are printed on the back of a ticket.”


The Blues chief executive has sympathy for both supporters and the club staff who worked on the pitch: “It’s disappointing but at the end of the day the decision was taken by the referee and it was a decision which was outside our control.

“I feel sorry for all the people there, especially the fans who have travelled some distance to get to Portman Road today, and I feel sorry for the groundstaff, who worked through the night last night and have been working on that pitch since Wednesday when the bubble went up.

“We need to recognise that it was an extreme situation last night for the temperature to have dropped so low.

“I was walking around the pitch yesterday and it was soft. We experienced some extreme temperatures and that was recognised by those that worked on the pitch through the night and appropriate measures were taken.”

Both managers agreed that the surface was playable when the bubble was removed an hour or so before kick-off but once open to sub-zero temperatures, areas of the pitch began to harden up.

Clegg added: “The sun was on part of the pitch but not on the whole pitch, that's the way Portman Road is constructed, and out of the sun it was cold.

“Every area of the pitch is different, holds moisture in a different way and is affected by many things - how much direct heat they get and how much sun.

“I went down to the pitch and had a look at it after the referee had taken the players off and it was hard down the Britannia touchline.”

He says particular areas are more problematic than others: “We have a challenge in the south-east corner, the corner between the Cobbold and the South Stand, and the south-west corner, the corner between the Britannia and the South Stand, because they are the areas of the ground which get very little natural light and are the worst affected.”

Town held a ticketing trial at the Boro game with prices reduced by 25% and Clegg isn’t ruling out further similar initiatives later in the season: “I’m not going to rush into any knee-jerk reactions. Certainly the numbers today were under 20,000, but were close to it.

“I need to look at it against everything that has to be taken into account, not least the wins against West Ham and Coventry, and the impact they would have had on the gate, and the fact that there may have been some people who decided they weren’t going to come because of the weather conditions.

“I need to look at all the factors before coming to any view as to what may or may not be read into the outcome of the ticket promotion. We’ll see where we get to on that next week. It needs to be considered properly and appropriately in the fullness of time taking into account all the facts.”

Photo: Action Images

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theblueginger added 20:54 - Feb 11
I'm no expert, but i didn't realise free away bus transport becomes mandatory if you lose a game 7-1, either. Clegg actually seems to be clued up on the rules in that case. LOL
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GreenwichBlue added 20:55 - Feb 11
Not good enough. Disgraceful on the part of referee and club.
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KnightZ_87 added 20:56 - Feb 11
Clegg you are a disgrace! If this wasnt a respectable forum, i would have so much to say about you and your greedy attitude. Hiding behind the Football League rules! Pathetic waste of space!
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Sindre94 added 20:59 - Feb 11
Thanks for clearing it up, some poeple just dont understand

@94sindre , twitter
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RAH4 added 21:03 - Feb 11
Shambles. If we know the ins and outs of the ground did we offer such helpful advice to the referee.
From 12 onwards it was only going to get colder..no heater means it will freeze. Any self respecting Meerkat will tell you that Simples !
Why did the bubble only go up on Wednesday it was cold by then and the forecast was colder.Terra firma takes time to warm up.
Our groundsman says yes...yes to the pitch being playable and yes to the ref being right to call it off. Is he up to the job.......(yes ???)
Simple fact is we have nation wide cold weather and one game abandoned...ITFC and the FL have questions to answer.
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SitfcB added 21:04 - Feb 11
KnightZ_87 you sir are an idiot HAHAHAHAHA.
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millerman added 21:05 - Feb 11
Blah, blah, blah, blah! Sorry Clegg, not good enough. Don't want to hear your long winded, pompus excuses. Will not be returning to Portman Road for some time. It appears I have two choices: pay more to come to the re-arranged game (if I can make a mid-week game) or not come at all and pay a full price ticket for 37 minutes of football (5 minutes of which saw the Ref faffing about)! Some choice.
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bluelad26 added 21:09 - Feb 11
I can support through radio and tv i can follow my team, but I will not buy another ticket after how I feel about today, most of us work for the money that we give to this club and I feel robbed, £20 is alot of money to me and I will not pay the extra to watch the next middlesbrough game, I will not buy another ticket from my club again I feel ashamed to say this but I can not afford to throw money down a drain
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hadleighboyblue added 21:10 - Feb 11
the game should never have gone ahead , even before kick off it was obvious the area in front of britannia was not good and conditions were never going to be good enough , given the temperature.

how many games were started and then abandoned today ?

surely the regulations state the minimum refund amount , there is nothing to stop clubs offering more .

Clegg and the club have dropped a horrendous clanger - on a day they were trying to attract fans , they have seriously p****d them off
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tractored added 21:12 - Feb 11
The FL rules only say the minimum repayment if the club wanted to apologise to the fans for this shambles they COULD refund it all.
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budgieplucker added 21:14 - Feb 11
I suspect Mr Clegg may be being economical with the truth here.

Operative word in the quote is "guided"

It wouldn't surprise me if the football league says if a match is abandon then tickets have to at least attract a 50% discount and therefore I suspect this is a minimum discount and nothing prevents ITFC from applying a 100% discount. Supporters have paid to watch 90 minutes football.
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KnightZ_87 added 21:14 - Feb 11
@sitfcb - I cant make the re-arranged game if its midweek! I paid for my ticket and i have nothing now. Why cant i have half price off a ticket to a game i CAN go to? I might be an idiot now, but i wont be the idiot when i tell the club they can stick their £31 up their @rse the next Saturday i get off work. Your the idiot for standing behind such a clown whose laughing his way to the bank with your money!
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TractorMan added 21:15 - Feb 11
Clegg did say in two different interviews that they would look next week, away from the initial reaction and disappointment, at delivering additional 'compensation' beyond the FL regulations, so lets wait until next week before we hang him.....
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Taricco_Fan added 21:16 - Feb 11
That's me out. I'm not sure when I'll be coming back to Portman Road again.
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tomos91 added 21:17 - Feb 11
The football league rules may say that but it is just genuine good customer service.

If you want to run the club like a business, then run it like a business. If you buy a service (in this case to watch the match) and it doesn't satisfactory needs, you ensure that customers comes back by offering them an initiative.

Sort it out!

I would like to know how many fans would sign a petition for it to be free admission for people who bought tickets, for the rescheduled game...
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Campag_Velocet added 21:20 - Feb 11
Clegg told TWTD: “We are guided by Football League regulations on these matters"

Is he? Let's have a look. The Football League regulations are here: http://www.football-league.co.uk/regulations/20110629/section-5-fixtures_2293633

And the only area of those guidelines that relates to ticket prices for abandoned games is:

27 Postponements and Abandonments -Procedures for Re-Arrangement and Refunds

27.3 Every Club must have a publicly stated policy regarding ticket refunds or other arrangements for abandoned Matches.

Very, very poor show from the club, trying to pass the buck. So let's have a look at the club's "publicly stated policy regarding ticket refunds or other arrangements for abandoned Matches"

Well, there's nothing in the Match Ticket Terms & Conditions: http://www.itfc.co.uk/page/TermsAndConditionsDetail/0,,10272~1735042,00.html

Nor in the Season Ticket Terms & Conditions: http://www.itfc.co.uk/page/TermsAndConditionsDetail/0,,10272~1024959,00.html

And in the Ground Regulations ( http://www.itfc.co.uk/page/TermsAndConditionsDetail/0,,10272~1024967,00.html ) it says:
5 In the event of the postponement or abandonment of the Match, refunds (if any) will be made in accordance with the Club's Customer Charter. The Club will have no further liability whatsoever, including (but not limited to) any indirect or consequential loss or damage, such as (but not limited to) loss of enjoyment or travel costs.

So a quick look at the club's Customer Charter ( downloadable as a Word document from http://www.itfc.co.uk/page/CustomerService/0,,10272,00.html ) shows.... nothing about refunds in the event of abandoned games. So much for being "guided by Football League regulations on these matters"

Another abysmal cockup by Clegg. And yet another example of the Evans regime only seeing fans as customers up until the point that they have our money.
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simon420 added 21:28 - Feb 11
Campag_velocet excatly spot on there is no were is the football league regulations that it states this about league games. (does about play off and cup). So find it remarkable he is trying to blame the League when it is totally up to the club just show how little he knows that he doesn't even know the correct rules and regulations
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budgieplucker added 21:28 - Feb 11
The F.A.’s policies in relation to F.A. Cup matches and F.A.-organised events are set out below.
Further to my earlier post this is the official line from the FA. Now I dont know whether these apply to Football League matches or just FA cup ties.


"Match postponed after spectators admitted to ground, but before kick-off: free admission to any re-arranged game or tickets holders may apply for a full refund.

Match abandoned after kick-off : free admission to any re-arranged game or ticket-holders may apply for a 50% refund"
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beerhelps added 21:30 - Feb 11
good work Campag
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simon420 added 21:31 - Feb 11
Just FA Cup ties as i was looking at that myself earlier.
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budgieplucker added 21:32 - Feb 11


Even though I am a season ticket holder I have lost my patience with Clegg. He HAS TO GO

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millerman added 21:33 - Feb 11
It will not be good enough if Clegg comes up with an "alternative" offer in the next week or so. His initial response to the issue speaks volume about the man. He's a pen pusher, no more no less.
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AlanMahon2011 added 21:34 - Feb 11
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tractorboy1961 added 21:37 - Feb 11
Campeg_velocet excellent research! And exactly correct. Also wonder about the match day programme I bought and the golden gamble tickets !

What this again shows is that Clegg is a complete cretin and he will destroy this great Football Club. The club could do whatever they want in this case, and maybe they will do more but that will only be done by fans pressure. They should have just offered free admission straight away or a free ticket to another match if people cannot make the re arranged date.

I fear for ITFC as long as this man is in charge as he has shown repeatedly he is totally incompetent ans totally out of touch with the supporters.

Evans cannot be stupid as he is a successful businessman but surely he can see what is happening here!
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JayITFC added 21:49 - Feb 11
Today is a MAJOR setback for future attendences at PR. If you have a season ticket you're relatively sorted for the Boro re-match (apart from being out of pocket for travel expenses today). However the casual fan, that guy who decided to go today on the back of the ticket price promotion, that guy that as a priority we MUST get back to Portman Road, is being told he won't get a refund for 38 minutes of football. To add insult to unjury he can come to the re-arranged fixture at 50% off!? What is the club thinking...

*PR Nightmare*
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