Northern Alliance Premier Division club Newcastle Blue Star have made a significant move to support their season ticket holders through the coronavirus epidemic.
The Scotswood-based club have announced that season tickets that have been purchased before or during the current campaign will now be valid for the 2020/21 season at no extra cost.
That means that over 250 supporters – who have paid between £20 and £35 for their season tickets - will benefit from the gesture and Blue Star chairman Steve Best explained why the club felt that the move was necessary as the coronavirus pandemic continues to put a strain on finances of people around the North East.
He told Chronicle Live: “During these testing times we wanted to help support the people that have supported us.
“Their pockets will be hit hard in the next few months and we wanted to help in any way we can.
“Football fans are the heartbeat of any club, Premier League or grassroots.
“They are the identity of a football club and we should never forget that.”
The outbreak of the epidemic could not have come at a worse time for Blue Star.
The club were in the midst of a re-generation of their Scotswood Sports Centre home as they look to put themselves in a position to secure promotion into the Northern League.
Kenny Wharton’s side currently sit top of the Premier Division table with the likes of AFC New Fordley, Ponteland United, Blyth Town and AFC Killingworth all among the chasing pack.
However, only the latter two clubs in that quartet have applied for promotion into the Northern League, and along with Blue Star, they have been working hard to ensure that their home grounds are up to the standard required to play at a higher level.
All building work has ground to a halt as the epidemic continues to impact on all walks of life – but Best is adamant that the health and safety of everyone at the club is “paramount”.
“Coronavirus has had a huge effect,” he explained.
“We still have all of our running costs to pay, but with zero income.
“There is no junior or senior training, the clubhouse is closed, and the site development has stopped.
“But the health and safety of our contractors, our players, coaches and volunteers is paramount.”