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August 2009
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TWC Big Debate: Ticket Touts

August 20th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England, The Ashes

With tickets for The Oval trading on websites for up to £300, the ECB has vowed to evict punters who have bought their ticket from touts. Here, then ECB Head Of Revenue Protection and a leading tout offer their differing viewpoints on the problem…

ECB Head Of Revenue Protection Darren Wonk

It’s very sad to hear that people are paying these huge sums for a ticket. It only goes to further my view that we are cutting our own throat by practically giving them away at £70 face value.

But touting is wrong for another reason: it encourages money laundering and who knows what other sorts of crime. It is a well-known fact that the major underworld players – The Mafia, The Triads, The Yardies, The ICL – have moved away from prostitution, drug dealing and protection rackets into the much more lucrative business of reselling tickets for the one or two cricket matches a year that are actually oversubscribed.

As with anything else, our first concern is with the supporters and ensuring that they enjoy the day, which is why we are moving security operatives away from the Beer Snake Prevention Unit and into a new Ticketholders With A Touted Ticket Ejection Division. Anyone found to have entered the ground with a touted ticket, suspected of having a touted ticket, suspected of having spoken to a tout, suspected of looking a bit like one of the ghastly oiks, or suspected of having used eBay (including non-ticket related trading up to and including trying to flog an unwanted Christmas jumper or second-hand lawnmower) will be ejected.

It is simply not fair on those fans who got tickets by the legitimate means (i.e. corporate complimentary tickets, knowing a chap at Sky, being one of the 185-man England performance squad, etc). (formerly Honest Dave of the Harleyford Road)

The thing that nobody can explain to me is why tickets should be any different to any other good. Let’s say I had a DVD player, right, just for the sake of argument, just a bit of fun. Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking, “Dave’s probably nicked that DVD player”, but you’d be wrong. There’s absolutely no money in nicking DVD players these days, and I’ll tell you why: buy a moody copy of Transformers II from Chinese Tony in the Red Lion, and he’ll chuck the DVD player in for free. How can you compete with that? The market’s dead.

So this DVD player of mine. Now, if I want to sell you this DVD player for five times what I paid for it (assuming, just for argument’s sake, that I’d paid the full retail price for it LIKE A TOTAL MUG), who is the ECB or the ICC or the Serious Fraud Office to tell me that I can’t? It’s a matter of basic human rights.
And don’t say to me, “But Dave, you haven’t actually added any value to that DVD player, or performed any service, you’re just leeching off regular people and contributing nothing.”

First: peace of mind. If you buy a DVD player from me and it says ‘Sony’ on it, you can be bloody well sure that it is a Sony, or at least an equivalent brand, and it will definitely work. Well, it did when I tested it this morning. Which brings me on to point two: customer service.

Should the DVD player not work, you are more than welcome to come and find me at our customer support centre on the Harleyford Road, where I will be happy to process your complaint in the traditional manner: i.e. by pretending never to have spoken to you before and offering to beat you up.

Enjoy those tickets!

Alan Tyers will buy or sell pairs, but look at you like you’ve just soiled yourself if you’ve got a single going spare

Posted in Alan Tyers, England, The Ashes |

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