One Direction have become the latest major entertainment act to publicly criticise the secondary ticketing sector after claiming to have turned down a £1m (€1.2m/$1.3m) sponsorship deal with a major platform.

The group’s Niall Horan said he and his bandmates were concerned that fans were being priced out of attending concerts. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror newspaper, which has launched a campaign against secondary ticketing, Horan added that One Direction’s members took the decision to reject the deal with the unnamed operator because of concerns raised by fans through social media.

The newspaper reported that the seven-figure deal would have given the group a share of ticket revenues and allowed the operator to be featured on the band’s website.

Horan said: “For me there is no better feeling than playing live for fans.

“We always thought very carefully about how tickets were priced and so to regularly see fans on Twitter unable to get a ticket or having to pay ridiculous secondary ticketing prices was incredibly frustrating.

“Those sites are all about making a quick buck, they are terrible for music and for real music fans.”

The Mirror added that stars such as Sir Elton John, Adele and Paolo Nutini have each recently expressed their concerns about the market.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is already investigating operators Get Me In!, Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo, while a government report by Professor Michael Waterson also recently called for better consumer rights law enforcement and £5,000 fines for offenders.