Ticket touting is an ongoing problem across the Premier League with a number of individuals and organisations claiming to have the ability to sell official Brentford tickets.

Prices can be vastly inflated, tickets can be counterfeits and transactions can be unregulated with little recourse for fans who purchase and don’t get into the game. Touting can also result in unfair ticket distribution with official members and genuine Brentford fans losing out. 

We've been hearing your concerns loud and clear about this, especially when it comes to spotting away fans in home areas. It's a problem we take seriously because, like you, we want the home areas at the Gtech for home fans.

This was a key point on the agenda at this week’s fan advisory board meeting, where concerns were discussed by BIAS and Bees United representatives. 

At the meeting, we outlined that we continue to be committed to tackling this issue and creating a safe, fair and affordable environment for all our fans wishing to attend our games.

What are we doing about it?

We have a dedicated team that investigate both online and offline illegal ticket sales and use a range of tactics and enforcement measures that help to combat ticket touting. We also work closely with the Premier League and other clubs to stamp out this issue.

Looking back at the Liverpool game, we blocked or ejected more than 120 individuals who we either believed purchased tickets from unauthorised sources or were supporting Liverpool in the wrong end. The majority of these individuals never even made it into the stadium having been stopped or blocked before getting to the turnstiles.

This was a significant undertaking by club and security staff to identify suspicious online behaviour, carry out enhanced ticketing checks and manage the matchday operation. 

Our post-match investigations into all of these cases are proceeding with sanctions likely for those found to have breached our ground regulations and ticketing terms and conditions. 

We did receive a handful of complaints of incidences of away fans in home areas after the match and each of those has also been reviewed and addressed accordingly. CCTV is used to check for overt support for the opposition throughout the game, especially at key moments.

We continue to remind our staff and fans that our policy is that home areas are for home fans and that any away fans found in these areas will be removed. It is imperative though that our safety team has the discretion and autonomy to assess each situation on their own merits, in the context of the match and the evidence in front of them, and within the framework of our ground regulations and other policies. 

A warning 

We remind all that individuals who are found to have offered their ticket for sale outside of the ticket exchange that they will be subject to internal investigation and sanction process. 

A range of sanctions are available to us including a significant ban from purchasing tickets to our matches. Memberships and season tickets may be cancelled as a result. In some cases, the matter will be reported to the police for criminal prosecution.

Will we review ticket access points (TAPs) limits for the big games?

This is a question we discussed at the fan advisory board meeting. While we may review our position for specific games if there are intelligence-led safety reasons to do so, this is not necessarily a silver bullet solution. 

It is not the case that the fan accounts who have been involved in the unauthorised sale of tickets all have a low number of TAPs. Of those fans ejected, less than 20 per cent had fewer than 150 TAPs.

And if we change the lower TAPs threshold at this point of the season it will punish several thousand Brentford fans, many of whom are younger, who have genuinely been attending, building their TAPs to have a chance of coming to the big games. This would also be at odds with our own supporter charter. 

While we do have a robust system in place, we will keep this under review and if there are good reasons and clear benefits to make changes in the future we will do that. 

How can fans help?

If fans are unable to attend a home league game, we encourage them to list their season ticket or premium seat on the ticket exchange, giving members the opportunity to purchase them online.

Do not buy Brentford tickets from any unauthorised ticketing platforms. You run the risk that your ticket will be blocked and you will not get into the stadium. You may lose out financially with little scope to be recompensed. 

If you have been offered tickets or have any information in relation to tickets being offered outside of the stadium, please report it to the nearest steward or email [email protected]. All information is treated in the strictest confidence and is never disclosed to third parties.

It is important that any issues are reported at the time and that fans do not take matters into their own hands.

Thank you for your ongoing support in this area. Together, we'll keep pushing to make matchdays at Brentford the best they can be.