TICKET touts cashing in on Owls fans by charging thousands of pounds for a seat at tomorrow’s big game are being threatened with police action in a crackdown by the club.
Tickets for Sheffield Wednesday’s sold-out promotion clash with Wycombe have been put up for sale illegally on internet auction sites.
Some had an asking price of over £7,000 a pair, others are priced around £500 apiece, and one has already fetched a four-figure sum, according to the club.
Victory for the Owls will see the club secure second place in League One and automatic promotion back to the Championship.
Sheffield Wednesday have pledged to call in police to tackle the touts - and some tickets have already disappeared from websites.
The club are cancelling any tickets they find being sold illegally.
Owls director of communications Trevor Braithwait said: “We have become aware that some tickets are now being sold on, via internet sites such as eBay, with at least one changing hands for a four-figure sum.
“Others are being sold for several hundred pounds.
“The club does not and never will condone this type of behaviour. It is against the law and against football regulations and cases reported to us will be referred to police for prosecution.
“Offenders are liable to fines of up to £5,000 and football banning orders.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “It is important supporters understand it is a criminal offence to sell or offer for sale tickets for this, or any other designated football game without the necessary authority.
“Supporters found to be doing so face being arrested.”
Touting for concert tickets and other events is not illegal - but a specific law has been passed to cover football match tickets as part of efforts to rid the game of hooliganism.
The Star found a number of tickets for the game offered for sale, including two with a face value of £24 each priced at £500 for the pair.
Joe Ashton, former director of supporters’ organisation Wednesdayite, said: “I’m not condoning or defending it but I’m not sure how the authorities can stop the problem entirely.
“It’s such a big game but it’s quite a big risk to take.”
Fans have united to condemn the touts.
One on fans’ website Owlstalk said: “Sheffield Wednesday have banned all the touts identified so far and blocked all their tickets. Referring them to the police too - they face a £5,000 fine per ticket and a football banning order. Quite right too. Ripping off fellow Wednesday fans.”
Another said: “People queued and queued and didn’t get a ticket because these people bought them with a view to ripping Wednesday fans off.
“Wednesday fans stick together - or should do - but these touts are playing things pretty low.”
The fixture is a sell-out and Wednesday have revealed the 37,000 tickets sold to Owls supporters will make it the biggest home crowd since the 1980s.
Previous sell-outs have included several thousand tickets sold to away fans - but Wycombe are bringing just 200.
Wednesday fans queued overnight to get their hands on the last allocation of 6,000 home tickets released earlier this week, which sold out within five hours.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ON TWITTER:
Kieran Hukin: “The Mrs text me saying she had seen SWFC tickets on eBay at a grand and told me to sell my seat - don’t think so!”
Sarah Abbott said: “Who would want to sell their ticket at such an important game?”
Grant Roberts said: “It’s shameful. I hope the club hands out banning orders. Real fans should be able to have these tickets.”
Matt Dent said: “I hope the SWFC fans touting tickets to our own supporters get caught!”
Leah Croker: “Can’t believe people are doing this! One was at £7,600.”
Oasismark said: “£2,000 for SWFC tickets - utter scum.”
A713n said: “They should be met at the ticket office by SWFC officials and not allowed to attend the game.”