“Ticket Touting, Public Order and the Free Market”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 6th February 2008 at 6pm
(For directions click here

“Ticket Touting, Public Order and the Free Market”

Given by:

Steve Greenfield & Guy Osborn, School of Law, University of Westminster.


Criminalisation of ticket touting for football matches arose from the embers of the Taylor Report, based on a public order agenda that encompassed all-seater stadia and a raft of anti hooligan measures. The original provisions were somewhat flawed and subject to criticism. They have been recently amended through the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and contemporaneously the successful London 2012 Olympic bid has opened up another aspect to control any secondary market in Olympic tickets. This new Olympic legislation has revealed the dichotomy at the heart of the issue whether control of tickets is a public order issue or an attack on the free market that exists for some sporting events. The seminar will draw out these issues through an analysis of the policy and legislation.


Any books that look at the sport and law interface provide a useful backdrop, i.e.

  • Gardiner, S. et al. (2006). Sport and the Law. Cavendish Press, esp. chapter 17.
  • Greenfield, S. & Osborn, G. (2001). Regulating Football. Pluto Press, chapter 1.

Some specific reading, based around older pre-2006 legislation, includes the following:

  • Greenfield, S. and Osborn, G (1996) “After the Act? The (re)construction and regulation of football fandom”. Journal of Civil Liberties. reproduced on the Urban 75 website:


Steve and Guy are both academics at the University of Westminster in the School of Law. They are Directors of the Centre of Law, Society and Popular Culture at Westminster, and Editors of the Entertainment and Sports Law Journal.

For further details on this Seminar Series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
WC1E 7HX or Tel: 020-7631 6763

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