Birmingham City supporters protest after the club refused to refund coach travel
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Birmingham City have reversed the decision to refuse refunds for coach travel despite a fixture postponement after supporters were left infuriated on social media. Blues fans were already disappointed as Saturday’s FA Cup Third Round clash at Forest Green Rovers was cancelled at short notice, but the reaction was worsened on Monday morning.
The tie was meant to be played on January 7 but it was announced at 9.45am on the day of the game that it would be postponed. There had been heavy rainfall overnight in the south west and a pitch inspection - made shortly before the announcement - deemed the ground unplayable. Many Bluenoses were already in the area or at least nearby by then.
A new date has already been decided on, as Birmingham will now head to Forest Green on Tuesday, January 17 instead - with the match kicking off at 7.45pm. After finding out the new time, one Blues fan on Twitter asked the club if coach tickets would be valid as before, and whether refunds would be handed out for those in difficult situations. The response was not well received.
BCFC Ticketing wrote: “Good morning, coach tickets will not be refunded as the coach service was used on the day of the original fixture. New tickets must be purchased if you wish to travel on the coach for the rearranged fixture.” In reaction, countless Birmingham supporters took to the replies.
“This is poor. Have to at least give free coach travel for an alternative game,” @ryaneaton93 said. Meanwhile, @LeModFootball tweeted: “This is terrible PR and proper cack treatment of fans. I get that the journey went ahead and putting it on again for free leaves the club out of pocket, but for the amount it’ll cost it really is a Craigy No Brainer, just write it off.”
One other put “no shame whatsoever, whereas there were a number of Bluenoses who deemed the decision a ‘disgrace’. @AdamMorton_8 said: “Embarrassing, one of the best away supports in the league, then you get Hull paying for the away travel for rest of the season. @IanDuttonBCFC @T_Deeney have a word with the club. Don’t deserve us as fans.”
BirminghamWorld contacted the club and its ticket office for a response at around lunchtime, and Birmingham City released a statement soon after. It reads: “The Club can confirm that complimentary travel will be offered to supporters who had purchased coach tickets for our original fixture with Forest Green Rovers. Fans will be contacted directly by the ticket office this week.”
Blues’ next game, in the Sky Bet Championship, is away at Bristol City on January 14.