All England Club seeks Government crackdown on touts

The All England Club is urging the Government to make ticket-touting at Wimbledon a criminal offence.

Under current legislation touting is illegal at major football matches but not at most other sporting events.

Although Wimbledon makes strenuous efforts to stop the practice, touts who operate outside All England Club grounds can only be told by police to leave the area.

Ian Ritchie, Wimbledon's chief executive, yesterday highlighted the anomaly whereby touts will be able to operate within the law by selling tickets for this summer's championships but would run the risk of prosecution if they tried to do business when the Olympic tennis tournament is held at the All England Club next summer. Touting at the Olympics has been made illegal by an Act of Parliament.

"We believe ticket touting should not be allowed to happen," Ritchie said at the announcement of plans for this summer's tournament.

"We put a lot of time and effort into stopping it ourselves. We fail to see why touting is banned at the Olympics but not at the championships."

Ritchie revealed that the All England Club was also pressing for changes to the current rules whereby overseas players are taxed on their global endorsement income when in Britain.

Individual sportsmen and women are taxed according to how many days they spend in the country, but the legislation does not apply to team sports.

"If Lionel Messi comes here he doesn't get taxed, whereas Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal do and we don't believe that's right," Ritchie said.

Although Ritchie conceded that the rules were unlikely to stop any players from coming to Wimbledon, he said they could affect other events. He also said the legislation could affect whether London keeps the end-of-season Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the end of the current agreement.

Meanwhile, Philip Brook, the All England Club's new chairman, was asked whether he was happy with the way the Lawn Tennis Association spends the annual £25m profits from Wimbledon, especially given the current state of the game in the country.

Brook said that he was focused only on maintaining Wimbledon's status as the best tournament in the world.

This year's singles champions will win £1.1m, a 10 per cent increase on last year.

The overall prize money pot is up by 6.4 per cent to £14.6m.

From 2013 the players will also have improved off-court facilities. A futuristic-looking structure, similar in design to the press box at Lord's cricket ground, will be built above the players' lawn area after the Olympics.

Two new courts – renumbered No 3 and No 4 – will be opened this summer. Court No 3, which will become the fourth to be equipped with Hawk-Eye technology, will have 2,000 seats, of which 1,500 will be sold in advance and 500 available on the day to holders of ground passes.

Bringing the number of courts back up to 19 will see the ground capacity raised by 1,000 to 38,500.

To celebrate the 125th championships, an episode of the Antiques Roadshow will be recorded at the All England Club in August, to be broadcast the following month.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests