Last Word on Rugby understands that the Welsh Rugby Union has withdrawn their ticket money from the member clubs’ accounts for the tickets sold to them for the Scotland game, which has been cancelled.
Money is withdrawn, but no game to go to
A club source speaking to Last Word said, “They have debited all ticket money from the clubs and as of yet no mention of whether the money will be reimbursed to us. I suppose it’ll depend on whether the game is rescheduled or not.”
Clubs pay face value for the tickets and can’t sell them above that, but they can be used to attract sponsors.
Many clubs will offer a pair of tickets to a sponsor/business if they apply cash in some way towards that club.
If a club is found to have sold them above face value in black market style then they’ll have their allocation reduced and possibly taken away.
This is process-driven but will leave clubs in a sticky situation if their sponsors or members who paid for the tickets become aggrieved over a lack of game to go to, especially if it isn’t played for months or at all.
It’s believed the ticket money was taken from accounts at around 2pm with the official announcement coming at 2.10pm, but the rumour of the game being off was passed around the media room around 10-15 minutes before it was announced publicly.
One club source said the clubs were notified of the debit removal date in February, but this won’t help the hardship felt by the clubs as a result.
This comes in light of the Wales vs. Scotland game being called off less than five hours after the Welsh Rugby Union confirmed that it was going ahead on Friday morning.
Last Word on Rugby understands the final round of Six Nations fixtures may well be played on October 31st.
Welsh Rugby Union response
A Welsh Rugby Union spokesperson has said in a statement;
“The WRU make a significant number of tickets available to the rugby clubs of Wales to sell to their members. Payment has always been taken from clubs as close to the game as possible, unlike ticket to the public where payment is taken at the point of booking, often months ahead of the event.
“This is done to allow clubs the longest possible period of time to collect ticket payment from their members.
“People who have bought through clubs are urged to retain their tickets, as are all ticket holders, as they will remain valid for the re-scheduled fixture. Once the re-scheduled date is announced, all ticket holders unable to make the new date will be able to apply for a refund.
“The direct debit process is automated and starts days before payments are taken. Taking the payments the day before the game has always been standard policy and in this case was in motion before the decision to postpone the game was taken.”
Community game action cancelled
Following medical advise the WRU Community Board has decided to suspend all forms of rugby, including training and rugby-related courses, from 6pm on Saturday 14 March up to and including Monday 30 March 2020.
A statement read; “The WRU has taken this decision in the interests of players, supporters, volunteers, referees, stakeholders and Welsh communities in general.
“The WRU will continue to assess this fast-moving situation and provide further updates in due course.”
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