Thursday 27 October 2016

PRO 10: 'Irishman arrested over alleged touting was acting for us'

David Kearns and Ryan Nugent

Published 13/08/2016 | 02:30

Irishman Kevin Mallon is being held in Rio Picture: AFP
Irishman Kevin Mallon is being held in Rio Picture: AFP

An Irishman arrested in Brazil over the alleged touting of Olympic tickets was acting as a collection point for Irish fans, it has been claimed.

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The PRO 10 agency, the official authorised ticket reseller (ATR) for the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), has confirmed Kevin Mallon was holding 781 OCI-allocated tickets on its behalf when he was detained by local police. The executive with sports hospitality company THG, who previously acted as the OCI's ATR, is currently in custody in Rio alongside one other as part of an alleged illegal ticket-selling scheme.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, PRO 10 said Mr Mallon was distributing the tickets on its behalf in Rio as it does not have a representative there.

The company added that the THG executive was not in their employment during this time.

"The tickets Mr Mallon, an employee of the THG group, had in his possession were held on our behalf to be made available simply for collection by Irish and other European customers of PRO 10 in Rio.

"These had been made available for sale through the authorised ATR process and were sold to legitimate customers of PRO 10 at face value."

A spokesperson for the firm said they wanted to make clear that PRO 10 had "always acted properly and fully in line with guidelines for ATRs."

"Many ATRs would have several thousand rather than hundreds of tickets in their possession at an ATR house."

The sports management company was announced as Ireland's ATR for Rio on December 1, 2015. The Lucan-based firm was only founded in May of the same year.

Read More: Relations between ministers and OCI's Hickey plummet

Asked about this appointment, the OCI said PRO 10 were the "only bidders" for Rio but failed to respond to queries about how it evaluated its suitability to be an authorised seller.

Following the alleged touting of Irish Olympic tickets for exorbitant prices, PRO 10 has come under scrutiny from the Rio Games Director of Ticketing Donovan Ferreti.

Mr Ferreti wrote to the company this week seeking an explanation of how Mr Mallon was able to allegedly obtain 781 OCI-allocated tickets to sell illegally in Rio.

However, PRO 10 told the Irish Independent that it had already responded to this request, four hours after it arrived, and said it was now discussing the matter with its lawyers.

The company added that due to the seizure of its tickets it had suffered "significant commercial loss".

Claiming to be Ireland's leading sports management agency, PRO 10 specialises in representing soccer players, coaches and managers in Britain, Ireland and the United States.

Last night the firm removed several links on its website listing clients, as well as the names of those behind the company.

Its parent company Kmepro Limited was established in April 2015, and lists three directors Ken Murray (41), Michael Glynn (47) and Eamonn Collins (46).

Previously Mr Murray was listed on PRO 10's website as overseeing the company's financial management programmes on behalf of its clients.

Irish Independent

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