Ok, this is often requested by nervous lenders and borrowers, but hereâ€™s my views on how to go about this delicate issue.
TRUST â€“ there has to be trust on both sides of the agreement. There are two fundamental things that can be abused. The seller can hand the card over, get the buyer to pay for the ticket, then tell the club itâ€™s been lost or stolen and get a new card. A good way around this is to write to the club by letter stating the address has changed to that of the buyer, signed by the season ticket holder/gold member. The other abuse is if the buyer simply pays the seller for the season ticket which is then not renewed â€“ or is an invalid card â€“ leaving the seller with a lot of cash and the buyer with nothing. On the other side of the fence, it is possible for a buyer who is trusted by the seller not to return the card after the season in question is complete â€“ especially if the buyer has been allowed to chance details and given access to the membership section of website to make changes. The only logical resolution to this is the cancellation of the membership, which leaves no-one with a season ticket, so really there is no point in playing silly buggers. So, given the scope for abuse, I always suggest that the seller and the buyer make an agreement about the deal in writing and both sign it, ideally witnessed by a third party. THIS LETTER IS ONLY SEEN BY THE CLUB IN THE EVENT THAT THERE ARE SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE ARRANGMENT. Technically, the loan of season tickets is against club rules, but as it happens, better that people are prepared so I am doing this. Donâ€™t make it right, but itâ€™s a reality.
Ok, the agreement.
MONEY â€“ price should always be face value. If the member has enjoyed extra matches the season before in the way of extra cup games, it is my belief that the buyer should not have to pay for these. On the same level, if extra cup games are enjoyed in the season that the buyer is borrowing the ticket, it is only right that they pay the seller for these the subsequent season if the card is returned for use by the original member. That seems only fair to me. Do the maths.
CUP FINALS AND SEMIS, AWAY TICKET RIGHTS. Please establish absolutely clearly whether or not these are included for the relevant season with the use of the season ticket. In my view, they should be, but if sellers are reluctant to include this, it should be made absolutely clear so that the buyers are aware of this from the start.
PROTECTION AGAINST ABUSE â€“ Aside from a letter, if both (especially) seller and buyer are reasonable, they will understand itâ€™s only fair that the other person should be able to insure themselves against being taken for a ride with some simple precautions. Aside from a letter of agreement stated above, there should also be proof supplied that the seller is the member, and that both sellers and buyers have indisputable proof of both identity and addresses. So we are talking passport or driving licence and a couple of current bills or bank statements with the address.
PAYMENT FOR THE SEASON TICKET â€“ there are a few ways to do this. One is a cheque to the club, another is for the season ticket to be paid online by the buyer with the buyerâ€™s credit card. I would advise the following. The seller gives the buyer the online log-in details for the membership and the money is paid by credit card. This is a form of proof that backs up the letter shown to the club in the event of any nonsense further down the line. Additionally, the address of the membership can be changed to that of the buyer. Whether there is agreement about the password being changed is between you. Always remember the actual member can always over-ride any changes by simply phoning the club, but if any fast ones are pulled, then the buyer at least has proof that the member has messed about which at least will lead to the membership being suspended and the membership invalidated for stadium access on all cards related to the membership. Basically, it should not be worth the risk of abuse on either side. But whatever, you do, do not hand cash or even a cheque (that could be cashed by the seller with no guarantee of anything in return) for a season ticket without some guarantees such as the agreement letter. If the seller is reasonable, they will accept a cheque made out to the club or allow the buyer to pay online by giving them the online password.
AT THE END OF THE ARRANGEMENT â€“ if all goes well, the buyer returns the card to the seller and gives him the password details if they have been changed by the buyer during the season for any reason. Then the details such as address can be changed back by the original member to their own. Please note it is impossible to make some changes online â€“ such as name, gender, date of birth. So the membership name will always be that of the original member.
The bottom line should be that if there is any abuse, the danger exists that everyone loses out, thus making it pointless to do this. The most obvious opportunity for abuse is with the money to pay for the season ticket and this has to be handled carefully and in such a way that â€“ ideally â€“ the club is paid rather then the seller.
I will try and formulate an agreement letter if people want that, but not today. Iâ€™ve got work to do! Hope this is of some help to those that requested advice in this area.