The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), in a move designed to control both the primary and secondary sale of its soccer tickets, has launched its own ticket resale Web site, which it touts as the only authorized site for fans to buy and sell extra tickets.
The soccer league, which is the governing body for national leagues throughout Europe, is taking such a hard line as it relates to ticket resale that it vows to cancel any tickets not resold through its new site.
“There are no other websites or companies allowed to sell any tickets,” UEFA said in a statement. “Fans should therefore not be tempted to buy tickets from other sources – often at inflated prices – as such tickets simply do not exist in most cases or will be cancelled by UEFA for a breach of the ticketing terms and conditions.”
In addition, tickets will only be allowed to be resold at face value, and both parties must provide credit card information before transactions can occur.
“A credit card will be mandatory, both for selling or buying tickets, as immediate feedback on the success of payment is required,” UEFA said. “Customers who had paid for their tickets by bank transfer will nevertheless be able to sell tickets, but they must provide credit card details to be able to put such tickets on offer.”
The site, which can be accessed from UEFA.com, will take an approach similar to online ticket marketplace StubHub in that buyers and sellers will not interact directly; UEFA will act as the intermediary and process all transactions.
In recent years, the World Cup and Olympics have suffered through various ticketing scandals, and UEFA seems determined to try to avoid a similar fate. In fact, FIFA, which runs the World Cup, launched its own ticket resale site prior to last year’s matches in South Africa.
Yet, Graham Burns, chairman of the UK-based Association of Secondary Ticket Agents, believes UEFA will have a tough time policing resale of their tickets, which for some matches, like the final of EURO 2012 next year, can command huge money on the secondary market.
“They are living in a dream world,” Burns said of UEFA. “Which person is going to buy or obtain a ticket for the Champions league final for, let’s say £250 and then put it up for sale at face value when the tickets are fetching £3500+? Because if they did, someone else will buy it at face and then sell it on for that £3500 price tag.
“And they are going to put the name on it? What does this do? Do you think it stops the speculator/broker from putting his clients name on it [instead of their own]? This is a multi-million pound secondary market [in the UK] and the further it is pushed underground the more at-risk it puts the public. This [resale site] has nothing to do with the fans, this is about control,” Burns told TicketNews.