Please read the attached scan of a letter received from Everton today. My response to Christine Prior is copied below.
The upshot is that for all away games for the 2014/15 season, we can only apply for away match tickets for club members who are season ticket holders. It goes without saying this will have a major impact on our ability to obtain away match tickets for members who are not season ticket holders. In short, we will not be able to get you any. If any season ticket holder cannot attend a game, the Committee would ask that you let us use your customer number. This will not be done without your express permission.
I have tonight sent a response to Everton protesting against the decision and asking for it to be re-considered. It has the backing of the Milton Keynes Club; I don't know yet what the responses are, or will be, from other Supporters' Clubs. It seems the decision is pretty final but only time will tell.
If the decision is not reversed, I'm sure the Committee will agree to cancel your membership and refund the fees paid.
I'll let you know if and when I get a response.
Response to Christine Prior:
Thank you for your undated letter regarding Supporters' Clubs and the 2014/15 season.
As you are aware, I represent the affiliated Midlands Supporters' Club. We have been taken completely by surprise by the decision described in the sixth paragraph of your letter which comes so close to the start of the new season. It is even more disturbing that there has been no consultation as far as I know with Supporters' Clubs. Had such consultation taken place I would not now be in the position of having to refund membership fees to our members who are not season ticket holders.
Many of our members without season tickets do not hold them because they are unable to get to many of the home games due to various reasons including work, place of residence and the inability to afford it. You refer in your letter to the "unbelievable commitment" of supporters in following the team on the road. Even though a substantial proportion of our membership are not season ticket holders, they have shown the very same commitment in supporting Everton at away games via their affiliated Supporters' Clubs. Not only have they demonstrated this commitment repeatedly, but they have done so year after year, whereas those purchasing season tickets for the first time this season, have not necessarily shown the same dedication but are, nonetheless, rewarded for it.
These members are now being discriminated against and there is little purpose in them joining an affiliated Supporters' Club if they cannot purchase away tickets. The only option remaining to them will be to purchase tickets for themselves from the home club which will no doubt lead to segregation issues. Recent seasons have also seen an increase in the provision of coach travel provided by our Club for away games, we will no longer be in a position to do this either. Whilst you state at paragraph three that your aim is to assist us in growing our existing members database, this change in policy will have a hugely detrimental impact on our membership numbers and would achieve the exact opposite of your stated objective.
I have spoken to Tony Carson of the Milton Keynes Club who shares the same opinions and I have no doubt that this policy will have a similar impact on Supporters' Clubs up and down the country. We would invite you, therefore, to reconsider this prejudicial decision and allow our members the same opportunity to purchase away tickets that they have always had.