Premier League’s problem with ticket touts

Featured image credit: Alex Motoc on Unsplash

The Iridium Consultancy’s Reg Walker has said that the English Premier League’s top clubs each have between 8-12,000 season tickets, memberships and hospitality tickets under the control of touts, according to an article from the BBC. 

Security expert Walker, who owns The Iridium Consultancy, told BBC Sport that Premier League touting is worth more than £50m (€57m/$61m) a year. 

He said: “It’s certainly getting worse season by season. If you take 10 years ago, a major football tout would have had maybe a couple of hundred club memberships. Now you’re looking at touts with, in some instances, over 1,000 memberships.”

Fan memberships allow people to register their details with the club for an annual fee, and  often have access to tickets to certain games before they go on general sale. 

Last year, Leeds United said that it wanted to crack down on ticket touting and announced a partnership with ticketing platform, SeatGeek, to take a more digital approach. 

Arsenal also recently revealed that it was attempting to crack down on bots and touts. The club is increasing its efforts in dealing with suspicious online activity, including banning users immediately if there is sufficient proof of illegal behaviour. 

And ahead of its FA Cup clash with Liverpool at the end January, Brighton & Hove Albion blocked tickets and suspended more than 100 online accounts after cracking an attempted ticket touting ring. 

Walker said: “Certainly more could be done, and certainly it needs to be co-ordinated by the Football Association and the Premier League. There needs to be cohesive, co-ordinated action around the UK rather than it just be left to each individual club.

“It’s not a club problem, this is a football problem and it needs the FA and the Premier League to take leadership on this.”