Not much is happening in football at the moment and, let’s be honest with each other: that’s a good thing. For one, it means more time for other stuff like watching TV, sitting down quietly, and watching TV whilst sitting down quietly. The important stuff. It also means there’s time to appreciate the little things, like Milan promising refunds to disgruntled fans with season tickets following the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.
To clarify, they’ve only offered refunds to Milan season ticket holders, not just disgruntled fans of anything, which means even if the final episode of Gilmore Girls left you cold too, apparently that isn’t any kind of refund from anyone. But it’s still a significant step. I haven’t had the time or inclination to look up how much money is involved in this transaction, but it’s probably a lot – why not check for yourselves? – and it also sets a new precedent: free money whenever your football club lets you down or rips you off – or both, simultaneously, as is often the case.
What else might warrant a refund? Manchester United has just sold its soul (again) to the New York stock exchange, so surely that’s worth a few quid? I mean, if you actually destroy a club, that’s got to be quite close to triggering a fan reimbursement. I mean, if your t-shirt explodes in your hands, I reckon that’s a a fair enough reason to take it back. Recently my t-shirt exploded and I took it back, for example.
Or should you have to be genuinely ripped off – as in: you can’t have known exactly what you were getting into before you purchased your season’s worth of disappointing football? United fans know they’re buying into a disgrace when they go in, after all. That line could be difficult to draw, though, given that mass delusion is the default setting for most club supporters: Liverpool fans would be due a refund every time their pre-season punts on Liverpool to win everything didn’t come off, and I worry that that isn’t sustainable in the long term.
Seriously (not actually seriously), this could be dangerous. According to one blood-sucking, guilt-free PR man at a bookmakers, “Liverpool now constitute around 40% of all stakes that we have taken on the Premier League winner market.” That’s a team which finished 7th last season and, since then, have signed Fabio Borini. If this kind of expectation is what we’re dealing with, is there any season ever that won’t warrant a refund? One Liverpool fan bet £44,000 on his team to win the league this week: with that kind of optimism, it’s reasonable to suggest that nothing – not even being bought the complete Gilmore Girls boxset – might satisfy him. The disappointment-related refunds would never end.
I kid, I kid. Milan’s decision will probably have to set quite a specific precedent. As in, if a club like Milan sells its best players after you’ve bought a ticket to watch them all season, then you get your money back. It’s that simple. But I couldn’t have got an article out of it if I’d just come and said it like that, could I? And we wouldn’t have been able to go through our weekly adventure if I hadn’t tried to force this into something it’s not, would we? Nope, so you can all thank me later in the comments, in the usual manner: insult, insult, partial insult, insult etc etc etc.
The only thing left to think about now is what the Milan fans will spend their refunds on. They clearly like football, but no longer Milan, so a season watching Inter would seem logical enough. I’d guess most of them have at least always wondered whether the other lot are actually better than their lot. Maybe they are. You simply don’t know until you’ve tried it, people.
Alternatively, they could all club together and try and buy Ibrahimovic and Silva back, but that feels a little futile, really. The best option is a Milan season ticket: after all, they wanted that, hence the reason they bought it in the first place, and you don’t support a team for the players in it. You know, I bet Milan have thought of that and have just done this as a PR thing. They win again.
NB: My t-shirt did not explode. This example was exaggerated for entertainment purposes because nothing actually entertaining has ever happened to me. Thank you.