Scottish rugby union chiefs have been forced to defend their relationship with Viagogo after a ticketing scandal just hours ahead of the start of this season’s Six Nations championship.
The Daily Record newspaper found that Scottish Rugby directly handed over an allocation of tickets to the resale site, where some seats are now being sold at 17 times face value.
Tickets for crunch Murrayfield clashes sold out within a day on the governing body’s official site, with fans directed to visit partner Viagogo.
Tickets to see the home games with Ireland and Wales were offered for up to three times the ticket’s face value after commissions were added on.
The Daily Record found that £115 tickets to see England versus Scotland at Twickenham were being sold for £1,956 once Viagogo had added their £458 in VAT and fees.
The practice was slammed by Rory Baldwin, who publishes the Scottish Rugby Blog. He told the Daily Record: “It’s pretty unfair that Scottish Rugby fans are being priced out of the market.”
Asked as to how Scottish Rugby differentiates between touts and Viagogo, a spokesperson for the governing body told the Daily Record: “It is a reality that a secondary ticket market will exist, either through fans being unable to attend an event and wanting to sell on their ticket or through people looking to take advantage of the demand created by the popularity of a match or concert. If a fan wants to sell a Scotland ticket, there is one place they can do that, legally, and one Scottish Rugby monitor.
“It enables the purchaser to know they are guaranteed to receive that ticket and for us to secure the best possible attendance at our matches.”
Former Scotland prop Peter Wright, who is now a BBC commentator, was one of those to condemn the link between Scottish Rugby and Viagogo.
“It’s a disgrace that fans are being asked to stump up double or five or 10 times the face value,” he told the Daily Record.
“That Scottish Rugby are openly in bed with an organisation like Viagogo, who make money from ticket touts hiking up prices, beggars belief.
“There seems to be a conflict in the rules and regulations, where Scottish Rugby are saying that tickets should not be sold on for profit on one hand, yet on the other, they are telling people they can charge as much as they like if it’s with Viagogo.”