talkSPORT pundit Trevor Sinclair has leapt to the defence of his former side Manchester City in the wake of criticism over the reigning Premier League champions not suspending season ticket payments.
City have told season ticket holders that direct debit payments due this month will be taken as normal, despite the 2019/20 campaign currently being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an email to ticket holders, City confirmed that refunds would be issued at a later date if any remaining top-flight games are cancelled or played behind closed doors.
And while many City fans have been outraged by that decision, Sinclair has backed the club’s stance during the UK’s national health crisis in a generation.
Discussing the topic with Jim White and Natalie Sawyer on talkSPORT, Sinclair said: “I think most clubs are doing this to start with, it’s not just Manchester City.
“The fact is at this current time the Premier League, as a governing body, have only suspended games.
“What Manchester City have said, and I speak to people at the football club, is that anybody who is struggling with a hardship there’s been communication that has gone out and they can deal with that on an individual basis.
“But they’ve explicitly said if the Premier League doesn’t continue – the club have told the fans since.”
White then challenged Sinclair asking him if it was a necessity for City to do this in the current climate.
David Mooney, presenter of the Blue Moon Podcast, is one of those fans and believes it’s been a ‘spectacular own goal’ from his beloved side, but Sinclair rejected that notion.
“I’m not so sure about that because if the season does get going again then the fans who have got those season tickets will want to go,” he responded.
Giving COVID-19 the red card
The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pub, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…
1. Practice social distancing by remaining two metres apart from others.
2. Wash your hands regularly
3. Self isolate if you have a fever or cough
Stay at home if you have either:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued its guidance on social distancing.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
“It’s a ridiculously tough situation for everyone on this planet. Let’s not forget that Manchester City have basically offered the whole of the Etihad to the NHS for their use during this crisis.
“Manchester City have got food banks for people struggling in the community, the way Manchester City also responded to the Manchester bombings was also commendable.
“No-one talks about this, but Manchester City aren’t going to blow their own trumpet and pat themselves on the back.
“Manchester City are doing so much in the community, people forget about that.”