Tom
Steinfort in

Germany
writes:

The Poms (as much as it pains me to say)
are world leaders on many fronts, but in Germany
over the past fortnight, in the highly competitive world of illegal tickets
sales, they have been head and shoulders above the rest.

Much has been made of the scalping market during the World Cup, and if it were
quantifiable, it’s likely that more money is sloshing around in the pockets of
scalpers than the GDP of tournament minnow Angola
sees annually.

Driving the roaring trade is a shady bunch of 25-40-year-old Englishmen who would
sell their mothers if they could only find a buyer offering the right price.

For three days leading up to the Australia-Brazil clash in Munich, you could
hardly take a step without hearing in thick cockney, “Tickets: I buy, I sell.” I
asked a few of them just what they were willing to sell for, and generally they
wanted between 500 and 1000 euros (the cost price of my game ticket was 35
euro).

By Sunday afternoon, when fans were in a frenzy over the impending game between
the leaders of Group F, ridiculous prices were being charged. The highest I
heard of was just under 5000 euro ($AU8540) changing hands for a Category C
ticket (cost price under 100 euro). There would have been more than 1000 people
that were looking for tickets lining the kilometre between the train station
and the Allianz Arena. Each had a sign, some simple, some a little more
creative:

”I will give you my sister for one ticket.”

”I need a ticket for my wife, or she’ll kill me.”

And there was one Brazilian man who was a little more to the point: ”I need s-x,
and wouldn’t mind a game ticket either.”

This open trade will carry on because ticket checks simply aren’t happening. There
were massive lines at the gate in Munich, so we stood at a nearby bar to let the crowd disperse, and in the
space of an hour didn’t see one ticket holder checked for ID.

So it seems the real winner from this year’s event is England’s
enterprising scalpers.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW