Brighton & Hove Albion have cracked an attempted ticket touting ring which sought to exploit home and away fans desperate to attend high profile matches at the Amex.
The club has taken a firm stance against touts ever since moving to the stadium in 2011, but with the club enjoying the most successful period in its history, demand for tickets has never been greater.
Ahead of last weekend’s FA Cup tie with Liverpool at the Amex the club’s supporter services team uncovered the scam, and blocked more than 150 tickets in home areas – the majority of those had been sold to Liverpool supporters – and suspended more than 100 online accounts.
Those fans, who’d been sold the overpriced tickets via a variety of unofficial online sellers, were unable to get into the Amex, as EVERY blocked ticket was confirmed to have been bought and sold on by the online touts.
Head of supporter services Jenny Gower explained, “Fans were being charged up to £250 for tickets, which were essentially worthless.
“It’s an absolutely shameless exploitation of football fans. Those who have fallen victim to this scam should contact their banks or credit card company to recover their funds.
“Our message is quite clear, touts have no place in football. We don’t want them here and we will do all we can to stop them from exploiting home or away fans coming to the Amex.
“We understand that there are fans who are desperate to see their team, but we have a clear and fair ticketing policy and system at the Amex. We would remind fans of this, and also reaffirm in the strongest terms to only buy tickets from the club.”
Albion fans have become increasingly frustrated by visiting supporters appearing in home areas at the Amex, and the club has moved to address the issue following feedback into the supporter services team.
Last week the club reminded all fans not to purchase from unofficial sources, and have now reminded home supporters that they must not pass on tickets to visiting fans.
Gower added, “Our stewards removed a significant number of supporters in home areas, and we would remind any supporters buying general admission tickets from us, that our terms and conditions make clear we do not permit away fans in home areas.
“Our supporters were excellent on Sunday, getting right behind Roberto De Zerbi and the team as they pulled off an historic win. They created a wonderful atmosphere which contributed to an amazing FA Cup tie.
“I am sure the majority would welcome us reminding the very small minority that they must not transfer their home general admission tickets to away supporters. Those who do will face sanctions for breaching our ticketing terms and conditions.”