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UK government calls for clampdown after resale probe

The UK government has pledged to adopt a cross-departmental approach to tackle unauthorised ticket-selling after the Guardian newspaper claimed that resale firms are generating millions of pounds from football tickets despite a law banning such activities in England and Wales.

The probe found that StubHub had sold at least 1,149 tickets for the Chelsea v Manchester United match on Monday for a combined €228,000 (£191,000/$247,000) and was advertising a further 918 for a total of €263,000. The newspaper added that the value of tickets sold, combined with the list price of those advertised for sale on StubHub for the Liverpool v Crystal Palace game on March 21 was approaching €1.5m earlier this week.

In one of his final acts before being reappointed as the new Minister of State at the Foreign Office and Department for International Development yesterday (Thursday), then-Sports Minister Nigel Adams said: “I will be talking to colleagues across government to see how we can clamp down further on the scourge of ticket touting.”

He added to the Guardian: “The unauthorised reselling of football tickets is a criminal offence and I would like to see any evidence referred to the police.

“Touting not only rips off fans but puts them in danger of buying fake tickets and in the worst cases can risk their safety. We have already banned the use of automated ticket bots and we are providing millions to enforcement agencies every year.”

The Premier League added to the newspaper: “Individual clubs decide their own official secondary ticket arrangements and any sale of a ticket on unauthorised platforms is illegal.”

In a statement, StubHub insisted that it “works diligently to comply with the law” in the countries where it operates and does not offer football tickets from its StubHub.co.uk website.