Premier League football club Arsenal has cancelled almost 2,000 memberships for touting offences this season.
Arsenal revealed in February that it was attempting to crack down on ticket touts, and increased the level of bot protection on its ticketing platform.
The move resulted in up to 500,000 IP addresses being blocked due to suspected bot activity during the sale of tickets to silver members for the club’s Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in May.
“We understand how frustrating it is when tickets appear on unauthorised websites at exorbitant prices,” said the club on its website.
“We remind all supporters that tickets for our matches are only available through official Arsenal channels and we stress how important it is that you do not buy tickets from unauthorised sites. Many of these re-sellers do not hold tickets; their posts are purely speculative and it will often be a scam.”
Arsenal added that it dealt with hundreds of supporters every match day that have been sold a fake ticket or have a ticket that has been sold multiple times. The club also urged victims to report activity surrounding ticket touts.
On match days, the ticket office holds tickets for collection that it suspects may have been sold illegally. The club holds between 100-200 tickets per home game, so that it can conduct the relevant ID checks. The majority of these tickets are often not collected, and if this happens, the memberships are subsequently cancelled.
Arsenal also performs in-person checks within the Family Enclosure and has identified instances of touted tickets. The club also works with the police to tackle reselling within the streets around Emirates Stadium.
At away matches, Arsenal has also been holding on to a smaller number of tickets for collection that have been previously linked to banned members. The club is aiming to increase the number of checks at away matches to ensure away tickets are being used by genuine supporters.