Wimbledon's warning to fans on illegal tickets

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The Independent Online

Wimbledon yesterday issued an anti-tout warning to potential ticket holders for the Championships from 20 June to 3 July.

Wimbledon yesterday issued an anti-tout warning to potential ticket holders for the Championships from 20 June to 3 July.

Chris Gorringe, the All England Club's chief executive, said: "The message is quite clear. Tickets obtained via the public ballot and the Lawn Tennis Association are for the use of the original purchasers and should not be transferred for whatever reason.

"People tempted to buy such tickets should be under no illusion that they will not get in. The only tickets that are legally transferable are marked 'Debenture'. If you are in any doubt, please contact the Club's ticket office."

Non-debenture tickets, Wimbledon emphasised, must not be sold nor advertised for sale, whether on the internet, in newspapers or elsewhere.

Resale of debenture tickets is permitted and these are freely tradable on the Stock Market. Since 1920 the All England Club has used the money from debentures to meet capital expenditure, enabling them to hand the annual pre-tax profits from The Championships to the LTA for the development of the sport.

Major projects paid for by debentures in recent years were a new Court One and the Millennium Building, incorporating a players' area and a media centre.

Improvements for 2006 will include the turnstile area, together with a new museum, museum shop, ticket office and the Club's new offices. By 2009, a retractable roof will be in place on Centre Court, with an increase in capacity, more comfortable seating and new catering facilities

The most recent issue of Centre Court debentures, covering 2006-2010, cost £23,150 per debenture.

* The men's world No 1, Roger Federer, swept into the Hamburg Masters semi-finals with a resilient 6-4, 7-6 victory over Guillermo Coria, of Argentina, yesterday. The 23-year-old top seed now meets the Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who beat the Italian Filippo Volandri 7-6, 6-4.

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