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SBD Global/August 19, 2013/Franchises

Fans Accuse Tottenham Hotspur Of Encouraging Ticket Touts With StubHub Deal

Tottenham Hotspur "has been accused by its own supporters of encouraging ticket touts by embarking on a three-year deal" with StubHub flogging match seats for up to £1,000 ($1,560), according to Paul Gallagher of the London INDEPENDENT. The most expensive seat for Tottenham’s first home game of the season against Swansea City was being offered last week in the lower tier for £1,000. Another pair of tickets in the upper tier was available for £977.50 ($1,530). The majority of the 100-plus tickets on sale cost between £60-£120 ($94-$188), "up to three times face value." StubHub replaces the previous ticket exchange at Spurs, which enabled seats to be re-sold with around a 25% deduction on face value to the season ticket holder "who could then choose to use the money to reduce the price of the following year’s season ticket." With the credit option gone, the only way the buyer can get more than 85% back "is if the market holds up and they charge buyers over the odds from the start." Spurs' Supporters Trust member Martin Cloake said, "There are a number of reasons to object to the club’s deal with StubHub. Some are ethical, some more practical. The principle that you don’t sell tickets to other fans for over face value is as basic as never changing your team and it’s a core part of the social solidarity that holds supporters together." Cloake added that Spurs "once shared the view that selling tickets far above face value is not right," as evidenced by its 'Out the Tout' campaign launched in '06. Cloake said that "one of the most distasteful aspects of the deal is that the club attempts to distance itself from excessive pricing." In an answer to a recent Q&A session arranged between the club and itself on its website, the club said, "While we understand that some fans might be frustrated to find prices higher than they hoped, it is the season ticket member’s prerogative to list their seats at whatever price they choose." Cloake: "This is the National Rifle Association defense -- 'we just supply the guns, if people choose to shoot each other with them, it’s nothing to do with us'" (INDEPENDENT, 8/16).
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