THG says it acted as go-between for Olympic tickets

Firm at heart of touting investigation says it ‘introduced’ people seeking tickets to Pro10

THG Sports says it acted as a go-between for people looking to buy tickets. Photograph: Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images.

THG Sports says it acted as a go-between for people looking to buy tickets. Photograph: Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images.

 

THG Sports, one of the companies at the heart of the investigation into alleged ticket touting at the Olympics, says it acted as a go-between for people looking to buy tickets and Ireland’s authorised ticket dealer, Pro10 Sports.

THG denies, however, that this constitutes a form of ticket selling on behalf of Pro10 and said it was “not unusual and within the rules”.

A spokesman for THG said it “introduced” to Pro10 an unknown number of people who were without tickets but willing to purchase.

When it was put to the spokesman that this could be construed as a form of agency selling of the tickets, he replied: “I don’t think so.”

The spokesman was asked if THG helped any of the people it “introduced” to Pro10 to transact with the Irish company, either by inputting their details into Pro10’s website on their behalf, or by otherwise placing an order with Pro10 for them. He was also asked if THG received fees for this. “I cannot talk about that. It is a legal issue,” the spokesman said, while reiterating that THG “did not sell” any Rio tickets allocated to the authorised dealer, Pro10.

A Brazillian arrest warrant, issued on Monday, remains outstanding for David Gilmore, an Irish solicitor who appears to be an in-house lawyer for THG and the wider Marcus Evans Group that owns it.

Authorised reseller

The Brazillian authorities said the Olympic Council of Ireland nominated THG last year to act as its authorised ticket reseller, but the Rio organisers rejected this. THG’s former chief executive, James Sinton, was arrested for alleged ticket touting in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.

The THG spokesman declined to comment on the assertion yesterday by Brazillian authorities that Pro10 effectively acted as a “a bridge” to get tickets from the Olympic Council of Ireland to THG.

As well as “introducing” ticketless clients to Pro10, THG also distributed tickets for the Irish company on the ground and routinely manned Pro10’s phone lines.