Ex-Scotland rugby star calls for SRU crackdown on ticket touts

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RUGBY chiefs should crackdown on ticket touts charging a small fortune for this Saturday’s Scotland v Ireland and other events, a former top player has insisted.

Ex-international forward Norrie Rowan called on the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) to take action over big-match briefs advertised online for up to £2,300.

Norrie Rowan. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Norrie Rowan. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Touts are cashing in on the Guinness Six Nations and Scotland’s recent home successes which have seen the 67,144 seat stadium sold out.

Second-hand seller website Viagogo is flogging 194 tickets for tomorrow’s tie for a combined value of £57,758. A further 223 are for sale for Scotland v Wales at Murrayfield on March 9, costing a combined £49,318.

Despite being marked as not for resale, around 1,500 tickets for the tournament are listed on Viagogo, totalling over £300,000 with 65 per cent offered by just five sellers.

Ex-Scotland prop Norrie Rowan – capped 13 times in the front row – has called on the SRU to drive touts out of the game by identifying who has sold on tickets and invalidating them, effectively making them worthless.

He said: “If they know where the tickets are being sold from and they know they’re being sold, which is against their policy, then they should do something about it.

“You can actually pinpoint the exact tickets [seats] and pinpoint who bought them in the first place.”

In 2017, the SRU came under fire after they defended their decision to pass on match tickets directly to Viagogo who then ramped up prices, some being sold for 17 times their face value.

Fans with second-hand tickets risk not being let into events, but Viagogo last night defiantly insisted their tickets are valid and entry rules to events are not legally 
enforceable.

A spokesperson for the website said: “All tickets on Viagogo are valid and it is 
perfectly legal to resell a ticket or give it to someone else if you want to. Sellers set the prices, and the reality is that any 
tickets listed at silly prices rarely if ever sell.

“Price caps don’t work. Where price caps are imposed, people revert to re-selling their tickets outside of venues or via online mediums which have no consumer protection such as Facebook, Twitter or on one of the fraudulent websites that regularly pops 
up”.

In a statement, the SRU said: “Scottish Rugby’s ticketing Terms and Conditions do not permit the re-sale of tickets on secondary ticketing sites, nor do they permit any re-sale of a ticket above face-value.

“We continue to take proactive steps with the secondary ticketing sites, as well as our supporters, rugby clubs and prior rights holders, to seek to prevent tickets from being re-sold in this way.

“Our priority is to ensure that our loyal supporters, rugby club members and prior rights holders have the best possible opportunity to see Scotland play at BT Murrayfield by purchasing tickets through official Scottish Rugby channels, on the basis of competitive pricing, compelling offers, and clear and transparent processes, terms and conditions.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com