Everton ticket tout banned from UK football for three years

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Hertfordshire man Lester Woodard has been given a three-year football banning order, after he touted 468 tickets for the first 13 Everton matches of the most recent Premier League season.

The 43-year-old was caught as a result of an investigation by Merseyside Police and is now banned from entering any football grounds in the United Kingdom for three years.

If he fails to comply with the conditions he could be sent to prison for six months or fined for each offence.

“As this conviction proves, we are committed to working alongside Merseyside Police and the authorities to eradicate ticking touting from our football club,” said Everton’s head of security and stadium safety officer Dave Lewis.

“We will not tolerate any form of touting and will continue to identify offenders and take the appropriate legal action through the courts.

“Touting not only impacts the genuine supporters, especially if the tickets they purchase or receive are counterfeit, but it could also be feeding into further criminal activity and therefore have a significant number of other victims.

“This season marks our last season at Goodison Park and the demand for tickets will never have been higher. I would urge all supporters or visitors to only purchase or accept tickets from official sources.”

Woodard appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court on July 4 where he was given the ban. In addition, he was fined £400 ($510/€475) and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £160 victim surcharge.

Everton employs a series of measures to protect supporters from ticket touts including official online ticket exchange platforms, fan meetings between police representatives and supporter groups, as well as signage around home stadium Goodison Park warning of the risks of unofficial sellers.

“Our activities to target touts operating both online and on match days will continue next season, working closely with supporters and clubs to keep identifying ticket touts and doing all we can to prevent them taking advantage of supporters and spoiling people’s experience of football and the city,” said superintendent Chris Barnes.

“Our advice to football supporters is clear: don’t buy from ticket touts. You will be taking a huge risk with a lot of money and may ultimately be refused entry to the match with no way of getting your money back.”

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