Tuesday 10th December 2019
The problem of tickets for Arsenal games being touted is growing worse and needs addressing for many important reasons including:
Ticket Touting at Arsenal games has sadly now even reached tickets for away matches.
We know touting greatly concerns our members and all Arsenal fans. In our survey this summer 91% of respondents said it was important to for there to be more enforcement action taken against ticket touting both at home games and in the away scheme.
The AST therefore decided to take more action in this area. This included:
We give a more detailed update below:
1. Attending meetings with Arsenal's Safety and Security team and addressing Touting at the Emirates
The AST has attended Safety Meetings arranged by the Club and would like to record our thanks to John Beattie, Sharon Cicco and Mark Brindle. All have all been helpful and informative and recognise this is a big problem where collectively much more needs to be done. Already Arsenal undertake a range of measures to tackle touting and we are aware they must do this on their own as the pressure on police resources means they will not support any action despite the reselling of a football ticket being a criminal offence.
The AST has subsequently written to Arsenal asking that greater effort is put into the following actions:
Most importantly we need to see improvements in Arsenal’s Ticket Exchange. An effective secondary resale mechanism run by the club will dampen the scale of the secondary market by giving people both selling and looking for tickets an official and safe service to use.
The introduction of a ‘Home Ticket Credit Scheme (HTCS)’, regularly proposed and encouraged by the AST, would provide a deterrent against touts stockpiling memberships because these memberships would not accrue the home credits if not in use on a matchday. It would also help by getting more tickets into circulation on the Exchange which would dampen the secondary touting market.
2. Away Touting – significant abuse of ticketing arrangements is now clear
Touting is now spreading into the Away membership with scores of tickets being listed on secondary ticket websites for most games. This is really disappointing given the closed nature of the scheme and that away allocations are based on loyalty points.
Last season the AST undertook two “mystery shopping” exercises for the away games at Bournemouth (November) and Watford (April).
On both occasions we paid almost £300 on StubHub for a ticket with a face value of £30 – a mark-up off over 10 times. We subsequently ensured that the tickets we bought were “cancelled” which enabled us to secure refunds from StubHub for the Bournemouth game and in the Watford case the merchant card provider on the basis the ticket was not valid as it had been sold against its terms and conditions.
The ticket for the Bournemouth game was offered in a block of four tickets. On match day we went to the seat location of the other three tickets and found overseas supporters who had bought tickets through the same secondary site.
Unless there are Away Scheme members acting in collusion, we can only conclude that away tickets are also made available to Box and Platinum members. Specific action needs to be taken by Arsenal in this regard.
Considering what we learnt from these exercises we have set out some questions and proposals to the Club:
3. Arsenal’s response
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