Liverpool v Manchester City: How social media is helping to fight ticket touting in football
Friday 11 April 2014
Social media has emerged as an effective weapon in the fight to battle the growing epidemic of ticketing touting in football.
As has been reported, online websites are charging extortionate amounts for Liverpool’s upcoming title clash against Manchester City on Sunday.
Tickets in the Centenary Stand are can be found for an astonishing £2,453 on one website.
Purchased only in a pair the total cost came to £4,906 with a face value ticket in the same section costing just £52.
But disgruntled supporters have waged their own war on these websites, using social media to fight back.
Twitter accounts set up by Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United fans are promoting the fair and open sales of spare tickets for face value prices.
Reaching out to an accumulated audience of more than 180,000 followers these accounts are designed flag up touts and narrow the avenues in which they operate.
In recent years football has had an incestuous relationship with touting. Online sites such as Stubhub and Viagogo are known to work in tandem with numerous Premier League teams.
And the issue is this.
Clubs like Manchester City used to a run service whereby supporters unable to attend games could return tickets for resale.
But after joining forces with Viagogo – well known for it’s lucrative touting – the club allows the site to offer tickets for up to 150% of face value price – not including service charges.
Lifelong City supporter Adam Keyworth simply had enough and set up @CityTicketX in revolt.
He said: “I think it’s pretty sad that people feel the need to rip off fans of their own club just to line their pockets with a bit of extra cash.
“We do help to tackle the issue of inflated prices but unfortunately tickets will always change hands for ludicrous amounts.
“But as our audience, and the audience of similar sites grow then the avenues touts will use start getting much smaller.
“It’s a real shame, City have always prided themselves on being a family, working class club and these resale sites take opportunities away from people not able or willing to pay double for a ticket.
“Since opening the exchange, if I had charged the amount Viagogo do in fees I’d be approximately £24,000 richer but the motivation was to ensure fans weren’t ripped off.
“It’s an easy service that almost runs itself so it baffles me that a club as financially well off as the likes of City need to squeeze what to them is just pennies out of fans, especially in difficult financial times.”
Clubs across the country have followed suit with Manchester United and Liverpool supporters setting up similar accounts.
And in light of the recent findings fans have spoken out against rip-off online vendors.
One group in particular, @RedMancunian use Facebook and Twitter alongside a website to try and combat ticket touts and they said: “If Manchester United themselves aren’t happy to provide a service then we felt obliged to help out fellow reds.
“We were alarmed when last year supporters from abroad contacted us after paying £2,000 for seats at the United v Real Madrid Champions League tie, only find out that they had been sold a £34 face value ticket in the East Stand.
“If people didn’t buy the tickets at these crazy prices then touting would stop. We urge those people to use the various non-profit avenues to seek spare tickets.
“If we find out about touts we strive to expose them, whether that be with a tweet to our followers or by passing on details to United.”
Josh Pinder and Joseph Doyle who are behind the @MUFC_Spares account shared those sentiments and they added: “Quite frankly our motivation to set up the account was because we were sick of seeing people getting away with charging over the odds.
“Football is supposed to a game for everyone to enjoy and we felt it was about time we did something to put a stop to this.”
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