Rugby World Cup 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevans has confirmed the organisation attempted to lobby government for new legislation to counter ticket touts. Unfortunately the request was refused unlike during the 2012 Olympics exposing thousands of fans to extortionate re-sale prices.
Now, a month on, Jevans is dealing with a problem she foresaw at least two years ahead. With demand for tickets, particularly England tickets, outstripping supply, the tournament risks being tarnished by cynical touts and their eye-watering prices.
Nobody can accuse Jevans of sleepwalking into this. She spent the first two years of her job cajoling the Government to grant the Rugby World Cup the same legal protection from touts that the Olympics enjoyed and football gets.
She failed, or was failed, but it is to her credit that she is not whining about it.
“We lobbied Government about that but they decided against any new legislation,” she admitted.
“They didn’t feel it was necessary. We have accepted that and respect the decision.” This despite them feeling it was necessary to write new legislation over the ticketing for the Olympics in 2012.
What Jevans did next was to put in place a series of measures that should at least limit the scope for blatant profiteering, and make sure as many genuine fans as possible can get to the games without second mortgages.