Chelsea launch legal campaign against ticket touts after “a long-term undercover operation” 

16 April 2019

chelsea tickets
Photo: Getty Images Chelsea F.C. secured injunctions against two men at the High Court on Monday after they admitted reselling match tickets.

“I’m a tiny, weeny cog in the running of it. A tiny cog in the biggest clock in the world,” said one of the men in court.

The legal campaign comes after what the club describes as “a long-term undercover operation” with security agents posing as customers. 

Premier League clubs have internally agreed that more must be done to stop the practice.

Christian Fomsgaard Jensen cfj@offthepitch.com

Chelsea FC have launched a campaign to stamp out ticket touting in a move “expected to herald a wider crackdown by Premier League football clubs”, the Guardian writes.

The club secured injunctions against two men at the High Court on Monday after they admitted reselling match tickets, which is illegal under English law. The two men promised they would not do it again and were ordered to pay £14,655 of the club’s legal fees and undertook not to loiter within 400 yards of Stamford Bridge or 200 yards of Fulham Broadway underground station.

One of the men told the court “I can’t see how you can sell one ticket and get fined nearly 10 grand each,” according to the Guardian, while the other, aged 63, alluded to the problem of big resale platforms: “I’m a tiny, weeny cog in the running of it. A tiny cog in the biggest clock in the world.”

Arsenal have made it easier for fans to resell tickets legally through its own exchange platform, but the club still cancelled 3,105 people’s membership for selling on tickets illegally.

The two were also ordered to hand over to Chelsea any tickets they might still have as well as any details of sales they had made for past or future games to help Chelsea track down season-ticket holders responsible for making their tickets available to touts. Both men were also warned that any breach of the court order could see them fined or imprisoned.

Long-term undercover operation

Chelsea are also seeking injunctions against three other men, with the club trying to put an end to ticket touts. The club have used security agents posing as customers hoping to identify touts and catch them in the act in what the club described as “a long-term undercover operation,” according to the Guardian.

Premier League clubs have agreed at a high-level meeting that more must be done to stop the practice. The ease of selling tickets via the internet has escalated the problem through the years with foreign websites being able to ignore English law.

To prevent touts, Chelsea rivals Arsenal have made it easier for fans to resell tickets legally through its own exchange platform, but the club still cancelled 3,105 people’s membership for selling on tickets illegally.

However, it is understood that Chelsea FC are the first club to resort to legal means.