Monday 24 October 2016

Tout firm selling tickets for €500 turns over €1m

Noel Rock
Noel Rock

The touting firm advertising All-Ireland tickets for eight times their face value has a turnover of more than €1m a year and has had a number of complaints made against it in 2016, the Herald can reveal.

Ticketing broker Needaticket.ie has advertised tickets in recent days for this evening's clash between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park for a staggering €500. The face value for a replay ticket is only €60.

The €500 tickets in question were earmarked for the Hogan Stand Lower and the Cusack Stand Lower.

While tickets for the upper and lower tiers of the Davin Stand, which is behind the goals, came at a cost of €325 and €350 respectively.

When the company's offices were contacted earlier this week, they said tickets were available to buy for the All-Ireland match. However, they would not be available until the night before or the morning of the match as they were "not ready". Advertisements for these tickets have since been removed. Despite having plans to shut the business down in 2014, it now has a turnover of €1,008,015.

According to its latest set of accounts Needaticket's cost of sales amounted to €785,000, while it turned a gross profit of €223,000. Its administrative expenses totalled just under €165,000. Their pre-tax profits jumped to €58,000, after directors' pay of €56,000 was accounted for.


The company has made a significant recovery since signalling that the directors were considering winding down in 2014. The company - owned by Michael Scully of White Hall, Dublin, and Gearoid McDonagh with a listed address in Knocklyon - revealed in its accounts in 2014 that the business was poised to close.

"The financial statements have not been prepared on the going-concern basis," the accounts noted. "It is the intention of the directors to cease the trade of the company."

The company recorded sales of almost €983,000 in the 12 months to July 5, 2014, and made a pre-tax profit of just €1,200. The turnover that financial year included €303,000 from the selling of sports tickets, and more than €679,000 from the sale of concert tickets.

Meanwhile, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has confirmed they have been contacted twice by the public since January with complaints regarding the website.

One complaint was in relation to tickets not received by the consumer in time for the event they were purchased for, while the other was to do with ticket pricing.

The CCPC were asked whether they condone the business operations of the website, given that they admit to selling tickets above face value, but would not comment on specific companies. When contacted over the vastly overpriced tickets being sold by the website, the GAA said that "this happens every year around finals where demand outstrips supply".

"Where we can identify the numbers on tickets, we will cancel those tickets," a spokesman said.

The CCPC said that there are no price controls in Irish Law.

Mr Scully declined to comment when contacted by the Herald. New laws on above-price ticket selling are due to be discussed by the Government in the coming weeks.

A private member's bill has been introduced by Dublin TD Noel Rock which would outlaw ticket touting. At the moment it is legal to sell tickets for multiples of their face value.

However, if the new law is passed it is understood that repeat offenders will be facing up to two years in jail.

"People in the industry have told me that around 10pc of tickets for events are purchased by people with the explicit intention of selling them on," Mr Rock previously said.

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