Ticket abusers face lifetime ban from Hartlepool United home games

Football fans found to be cheating their way into games for free or “profiteering from such activities” are facing lifetime bans.

The scam has included people using season tickets at different turnstiles to where they were produced by someone else just minutes earlier.

Other examples of abuse include spectators trying to enter Victoria Park with concession tickets when they are not entitled to do so.

Stephen Hobin, Hartlepool United's chief operations officer.

An investigation has been launched and Pools have now said they are “overwhelmed by the number of supporters who have contacted the club to supply names” of those allegedly involved.

New chief operating officer Stephen Hobin has said – while again stressing that only a small minority are responsible - that “the loss to the football club is very significant”.

He said in a statement: “I would like to thank the many supporters who have helped the football club's investigation into illegal matchday entry to the stadium.

“Although the investigations are continuing the club is overwhelmed by the number of supporters who have contacted the club to supply names and intelligence into the criminal methods of entry of a small percentage of its spectators.

A minority of Hartlepool United supporters are said to have passed tickets back through fences so that they can be reused.

"The club along with the relevant authorities will continue with its investigation and any spectators who are identified to be illegally entering the stadium or indeed profiteering from such activities will face a ban from Victoria Park for life.

“Once again we cannot thank our loyal hardworking supporters enough for your true support and for coming together with the club to supply this vital information.

"Although we acknowledge this is a small minority as a percentage of our overall supporter base, the loss to the football club is very significant which only makes our jobs harder to consolidate in the football league and grow the football club on and off the pitch.

“Anyone who has information regarding those responsible for the organisation of illegal entry or those indeed illegally entering the stadium are encouraged to contact the football club via email [email protected] under the subject heading Ticketing Abuse.”

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