OCI report: The two firms at centre of OCI affair
THG claim to be one of the leading providers of corporate sports hospitality.
Established by Marcus Evans, who also owns Ipswich Town Football Club, it boasts more than 30 years of experience providing sports hospitality and corporate events “for the world’s leading companies”.
In their early contacts with the Olympic Council of Ireland in 2009, Mr Evans told Pat Hickey that “partnership with us provides a unique opportunity to maximise corporate revenue as well as generation income from the general public”.
However, the Moran Report says it was rejected as a ticket agent for the Rio Olympics because the organisers suspected it planned to hold unauthorised hospitality events. THG continues to cite its partnership with the OCI on its website.
In a statement the company said: “THG informed the Moran Inquiry, that based on legal advice, it was not able at this time to provide information, due to legal proceedings in Brazil.
“THG wishes to reaffirm that it is satisfied that, at all times, it has acted lawfully in connection with the Rio Olympics, or any Olympics and will make no further comment.”
Pro10 was established in May 2015 after THG was rejected by the Rio Organising Committee. It did a deal with the OCI to act as a ticket seller for a rights fee of $100,000 (€84,900).
The following October it submitted a business plan for Rio which stated it had “vast experience in arranging tours for clubs and their supporters across Europe”.
“We have for many years been servicing the Irish market in terms of their needs for attending events in Ireland and abroad. This involves ticketing, travel and accommodation,” it said, adding that Pro10 had “long-standing relationships” with international hotel chains.
The Moran Inquiry found that Pro10 was not a genuine ticket agent.
The judge said that it was set up to “disguise the continuing role of THG and Marcus Evans as the real or de facto ATR”.
The Inquiry report says Pro10 was “unfit for purpose”.
Judge Carroll Moran heard complaints from family members of athletes that it was difficult to secure tickets for the Games before leaving Ireland and a “dearth of information” from Pro10.