Chelsea FC have had some recent successes with ticket touting applications, including securing a six month jail term in one case earlier this year. A decision in the club’s latest application was reached on Tuesday, 8 October 2019. Judge Cotter QC agreed to maintain the existing injunction restraining the defendant from selling or offering for sale match tickets. He was not prepared to allow its extension to prevent the defendant from waiting or loitering within a certain distance of the club, at a nearby tube station – presumably Fulham Broadway – and other roads in the vicinity within 48 hours of a match.
Chelsea had submitted witness statements detailing allegations of touting, including a test purchase of a ticket by a club employee. While the judge rejected the defendant’s entrapment defence, he did not agree with the club that the evidence justified the requested extension. Cotter J found that the words “waiting and loitering” were not linked to any activity, were unnecessarily wide and interfered with the defendant’s legitimate movement.
It was a general theme of the Future of Ticketing Summit we held at our offices back in May that the courts were willing to be supportive of anti-touting injunction applications, provided the evidence and applications were constructed and presented with appropriate care. This decision does not undermine that willingness but does shed some light on the scope of injunction courts are willing to grant and on the importance of ensuring that the evidence produced must be compelling enough to justify the requests being made.