European rugby law update - ticket touting and defamation claim

3 March 2014

Published 05 March 2014 | Authored by: Henry Elkington

Farrell gets a get out of jail free ticket?

On Wednesday 26 February the Rugby Football Union (RFU) undertook an investigation into how a match ticket, allocated to England’s Owen Farrell, ended up on a ticketing website and being sold for more than five times its original value.

The ticket for the Ireland v England clash at Twickenham on 22 March was bought by an Irish fan for £440 from the ticketing website Viagogo on 21 March. The original cost of the ticket would have been £70 and was clearly his to allocate as it had his name printed on it along with being marked as an “England Team Ticket”.

The RFU was satisfied that Farrell’s involvement in the incident went no further than giving it to a close friend or relative. 

Following the incident the The Telegraph has reported that Clive Efford, the shadow sports minister, is set to propose a an amendment to the the Consumer Rights Bill, currently passing through Parliament, to designate the 2015 World Cup a “competition of national significance”. If successful no ticket could be resold for profit and unwanted tickets would be passed back to the organisers for resale, if the law is passed.

Sources:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/10663934/RFU-investigates-after-one-of-Owen-Farrells-tickets-for-Ireland-game-is-sold-on-website-for-440.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10655974/Rugby-World-Cup-Labour-calls-for-ban-on-ticket-touting.html

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/nov/21/court-ruling-ticket-resale-websites

https://www.lawinsport.com/blog/adam-lovatt/item/the-crackdown-on-ticket-touting-continues-in-england

Parlimentry report on ticket touting: https://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN04715/ticket-touting


 

Trouble in Wales

Former CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), David Moffett, is said to be considering legal action against the WRU for allegedly defamatory statements made by WRU Chairman, David Pickering . The WRU’s response to Moffett’s proposed financial plan for Welsh Rugby which was signed by the WRU Chairman was said to have angered Moffett. Moffett has threatened legal action if he does not receive an official apology from Pickering and co-signatories before 5pm on Monday 3 March.

This comes at unfortunate time for the WRU who are, I’m sure, thinking of the crises of the future of Welsh Rugby. The WRU and Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) are set to meet on Monday 3 March to discuss a new participation agreement. More will follow next week following the meeting between the WRU and RRW.

Sources
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/mar/01/wru-david-moffett-legal-action

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About the Author

Henry Elkington

Henry Elkington

Henry is an aspiring sports lawyer, currently completing his GDL in Cardiff. Henry graduated from the Cardiff University with a B.A. in History and Philosophy. He has a passion for all sports especially rugby and tennis having played for the first team at Cardiff University.

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