5:45pm Monday 20th January 2014
By Jaber Mohamed
Tottenham Hotspur fans have called on the club to stop “exploiting” supporters and end its relationship with the controversial ticketing website StubHub.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust claim the platform is pushing up prices and preventing less well off fans from attending matches.
In July last year, the North London club entered a three-year deal with the ticket website, which is a subsidiary of the online auction site eBay, to allow season ticket holders to resell their tickets online for as much as they like.
According to the supporters trust, 91 per cent of tickets on the site have been sold for more than their face value since the start of the commercial partnership.
During the Premier League games against Chelsea and West Ham, tickets were sold at an average price of 135 per cent and 53 per cent above face value respectively.
The trust has now joined the Stop StubHub campaign to demand an end to this partnership.
In a joint statement, a spokesman said: “These figures show that StubHub and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club are misguided to continue insisting that the high prices shown on the StubHub platform do not equate to actual sales.
“The evidence is clear for all to see.
“A system in which 91 per cent of tickets are being sold at above face value, and substantially more in a significant number of cases, is not one that organisations which represent supporters can back.”
The trust acknowledged the club's plans to make changes to the ticketing terms and conditions to make it harder to re-sell them but said this is unlikely to make a significant difference.
A spokesman said: “We are not confident that a fair and transparent method of identifying what is legitimate relisting and what is abusive relisting exists.
“The club is, in our opinion, dealing with a symptom of the StubHub system, which it has willingly agreed to.
“We believe a ticket exchange should be a service to supporters, not a means of pushing up ticket prices or generating additional revenue.”
The trust has asked Tottenham to work with supporter groups, the FA and Premier League to create a ticket exchange scheme that does not drive up prices or incentivise fans to exploit fellow fans.
However, the StubHub has defended the platform and said it does not set the prices for tickets – the fans do.
In a joint statement with Tottenham Hotspur, a spokesman said: “Unlike other ticket marketplaces, StubHub does not purchase or own ticket inventory nor set prices - our role is to act as a neutral facilitator by providing a safe, secure trading environment.
“Only season ticket holders are empowered to list tickets on StubHub for THFC home matches and StubHub validates all listings against the Club’s season ticket holder database.”
StubHub said it was pleased to have provided a positive experience to nearly one fifth of season ticket holders who have used the platform to resell tickets this season.
The spokesman added: “As with any event, the level of supply and demand for a particular game will naturally influence the asking price that season ticket holders set for the match.
“It’s worth pointing out that 48 per cent of tickets sold for the first six home league matches sold for no more than £20 above face value, inclusive of StubHub fees, and this has increased to 51 per cent after the first eleven home league matches.”
Fans took to social media to vent their anger against the ticket selling website last week.
Louise Brian commented on Spurs Facebook page: “Stubhub can do one. Bring back the ticket exchange. I love my club but this 'partnership' was a shi**y move.”
Jason Harcombe said on Facebook: “StubHub are a disgrace. They charge six or seven times the face value of the ticket."
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