Chelsea Football Club has severed its ties with ticket exchange site Viagogo, ending its nine-year relationship with the firm, in favour of an in-house exchange that doesn’t charge fees.
The new system is similar to that of Arsenal, which has operated its own ticket exchange since 2008, and comes after pressure on the club since the 2012 Champions League Final which saw ticket prices on Viagogo soar above face value.
“The new Chelsea FC Official Ticket Exchange will be a safe, legal and simple way for a season ticket holder not attending a fixture for any reason to pass the seat to another fan and recover the cost,” said Chelsea in a blog post.
“This contrasts with the previous Viagogo scheme where a deduction was made from the sum the season ticket holder received back, which was a charge for using their service.”
Tickets bought through the new exchange will be sold at their regular price, plus a £1.50 booking fee.
The move has been welcomed by fans who felt that Viagogo was making a profit from fans who were just looking to sell their tickets at face value.
“The extra charges were absolutely ridiculous. I'm hoping the new system works better for fans,” said Chelsea fan Nicky Lam on Twitter.
Viagogo continues to hold partnerships with other Premier League teams including Aston Villa, Manchester City and Fulham.
Chelsea said that any additional revenue generated through its new ticket exchange would be donated to the the Chelsea FC Foundation, the club’s charity organisation that runs around 500 projects each week and invests over £5m annually in the community.
“The aim of this scheme is to ensure as many of our fans can attend a match as possible and for every seat at Stamford Bridge to be occupied. It most definitely is not to generate additional money for the club on top of our regular season ticket and individual match ticket sales,” said Chelsea.
The new ticket exchange will go live in August and will cover the 2014/15 season of matches.