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The Problem With Touts: How Ticket Resellers Got a Foothold in Football

Thursday, October 17, 2013   (0 Comments)

New Statesman (UK) (10/03/13) Cloake, Martin

Ticket resellers are attempting to capture the U.K. football market by striking deals with leading clubs, because although the resale of football tickets is outlawed by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, it is permissible if authorized by match organizers. StubHub, for example, has forged an official partnership with the Tottenham Hotspur club, which is surprising since the club formerly ran an anti-reselling campaign. StubHub offered Spurs an undisclosed sum to replace the ticket exchange system the club used to operate, removing restrictions such as price caps on resale. The club promoted the arrangement to fans by noting that one of the new system's benefits was that "you can set our own price" when reselling tickets, which actively encourages markups. On the other hand, the club also says tickets seldom sell at more than their face value. However, it is in the resellers' interest for ticket prices to be high if their business model is founded on a commission structure, since the percentage they collect is greater. The deal has brought the Spurs club under heavy criticism, while season tickets have only slightly doubled over the last decade. In addition, fan websites working with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust have started a petition against the deal, urging proper consultation on similar deals in the future.



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