Industry News

Resale firms accused of colluding with football touts

Viagogo and Ticketbis have been accused of exploiting alliances with professional touts to bypass fan safety laws in a Guardian newspaper investigation. 

Through undercover filming, the UK newspaper discovered the secondary sites were linking up with mass-scale scalpers to tout football tickets.

Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, it is an offence for a person without authorisation from a football club to sell a ticket or otherwise dispose of it to a third party.

However, overseas-based resale websites, including the four sites in the Guardian investigation, are able to bypass this law.

“The legislation prohibiting unauthorised resale of football tickets is there to stop public order problems. It’s a recipe for disaster, ticket resale for football matches on this scale,” Reg Walker, who runs the Iridium Consultancy, said.

He added that there was no legitimate way that anyone could have hundreds of tickets for sale.

“You’d have to pretend to be multiple consumers [to buy the tickets] but you’re acting as a business because you’re selling them on at a profit. That’s unlawful,” he added.

In the Guardian report, it shows how reselling destabilises fan segregation after Milan supporters were placed among Arsenal fans at a Europa League tie in London despite buying “away” tickets on Viagogo.

Image: Ronnie MacDonald