A TICKET tout exclusion zone around Stamford Bridge football ground - branded a flop by fans - has been extended.
Since October last year anyone suspected of touting tickets around Chelsea FC's home have been ordered to leave and not return for 24 hours. Any tout who returns before that deadline, or is caught selling a ticket, is arrested.
Despite 81 dispersal notices having been issued and ten arrests in the 20 home fixtures since the ban began, many fans say touts are still dealing openly without being caught, while Chronicle football reporter Dan Levene says many of the culprits just do their business outside the zone's boundaries, which extend from Lillie Road in the north, New Kings Road in the south, Munster road west and the borough boundary to the east.
The initial six month dispersal order was due to expire last Sunday (28) but, with the Blues hosting several high-profile Premier League games in May – including against Tottenham and Everton in the battle for a Champion’s League place - the local authority and police have agreed to extend the deadline until the end of the season.
The council admits some touts are flouting the ban but says it has driven many away and prevents others joining. Deputy leader Greg Smith said: “Touting can lead to a breakdown in the segregation between home and away supporters inside the ground - triggering security problems for stewards and Police.