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Man City bosses order closure of Facebook ticket group

The group was set up by life-long blue Darren Clarke. Photo: MEN Media

A Facebook group which enables Manchester City fans to sell tickets at face value has been ordered to close by club bosses.

City Face Value Tickets and Travel allows season ticket holders and those with spare home tickets to re-sell them to fellow supporters for no more than their face value.

It was set up five years ago by lifelong blue Darren Clarke, 26, and gained more than 13,000 members.

However it was shut down by Facebook last November citing infringement as it featured the club’s name and badge.

Darren, from Blackley, also known as Daz, has now re-established the group and its new incarnation has attracted 9,000 members.

However, the club are again attempting to shut it down.

Daz claims he was summoned for a meeting with club bosses where he says they told him it contravened club rules and that ‘there would be consequences’ if it wasn’t, though these were not specified.

But Daz, who insists he makes no money from the group, is refusing to close saying he believes he is doing fans and the club a service by allowing spare tickets to be used and filling seats that would be otherwise be left empty.

Manchester City itself is the only official vendor of match tickets. The club had previously linked-up with secondary ticket site Viagogo, although this association has since ended.

They have their own ticket exchange where season ticket holders can put their tickets up for sale, however they do not get the money up front, it is deducted from the cost of their following year’s season ticket.

Club bosses say customers have absolutely no protection when buying from random people on social media and also it threw up potential security issues for higher profile games.

Darren Clarke says he's been ordered to close the group by the club's bosses. Credit: MEN Media

However Daz said that his informal group filled a much-needed gap. He said:

I just think it’s really heavy-handed.

“It’s a really popular group. We’ve sold thousands and thousands of tickets over the past few years without any issues.

“Nearly everyone is on Facebook these days and it’s a really easy and quick way for people to sell tickets.

“On the official exchange they are not seeing the money for months. “It’s just frustrating. We feel like we’re helping. I don’t make a penny from it, its just a way to help fellow Blues.

“We hear constantly from our red neighbours and others about empty seats and we’re doing our bit to try and make sure spare seats are used but the club don’t like it.”

– Darren Clarke

The club declined to comment on the individual case. However they say they are the only legal and legitimate seller of match tickets, and take action against any unauthorised sellers.