The offices of German professional football clubs have been searched because of public prosecution investigations against the ticket dealer Viagogo. The FC Bayern, the FC Augsburg and the 1. FC Nürnberg confirmed searches on request after the "Augsburger Allgemeine" reported on Wednesday's actions. The Mannheim public prosecutor's office is investigating suspected tax evasion, as the authority announced. Against whom, she didn't say. Clubs or players are not affected.
Viagogo confirmed the investigation and announced that it would cooperate with the authorities. "We are aware of an ongoing investigation into tax payments in Germany," said a spokesman. Viagogo come "fully" to all tax obligations in the markets in which they operate. "We are cooperating with the relevant authorities and are confident that this matter will be resolved in a timely manner," said Viagogo.
Football club employees appear as witnesses
FC Augsburg emphasized that in the investigations by the tax authorities, no current or former employees are part of the proceedings as suspects, but rather appear as witnesses. Nuremberg confirmed the investigations with a virtually identical statement. FC Augsburg also announced that they had a contractual relationship with the company more than seven years ago. The people of Nuremberg also worked with the company "up to seven years ago".
In response to a request on Thursday, FC Bayern stated that neither the club "nor any of its acting or previously acting persons, nor a higher-level football organization or a football association are the subject of the investigation." "Rather, they can only be considered as witnesses in the course of investigations against a third company."
Viagogo serves as a platform for ticket sellers - for example at sporting events or concerts. Viagogo charges a fee on the ticket price, which is also charged at the time of purchase. In some cases, tickets are offered for multiples, that is why the ticket retailer has been criticized for years, especially among football fans. In the past there were often calls for boycotts, and fans protested for fair ticket prices under the slogan »Vianogo«.