Chesterfield FC’s directors have ordered a full review of the club’s marketing procedures following reports that a pre-season competition winner was “not legitimate”.
The club launched announced a raffle for fans to enter that would see the winner travel with the first team squad on their tour of Hungary.
However after the end of the competition received no coverage or attention on Chesterfield’s official website supporters grew suspicious about the offer. A “winner” was hastily announced, only to then fail to materialise on the tour itself.
A statement revealed that unfortunately the apparently unlucky James Higgins had been too ill to travel – with everyone who entered the competition entitled to a refund as a gesture of good will. This led fans to do their own research online, subsequently failing to unearth a single person of the same name who fit any of the criteria.
This has led to a statement from Director and Company Secretary Ashley Carson, who said:
Following a recent unsuccessful supporters’ competition and subsequent misleading outcome of the activity, a full review of communications and marketing procedures has been actioned.
I have discovered that a winning entry was not legitimate and the information supplied to the club’s communications department had clearly been falsified with regards to the winner of a place at the pre-season training camp.
Carson stated that “disciplinary action will be taken” following the internal review. The statement also confirms that only four people entered the competition.
According to Chesterfield fan Jonno Turner, the club had tried to drop the idea of the competition only for fans to start asking questions about the winner. After the news of the “illness” was released the hashtag #PrayforHiggins then began to trend, leading to the uncovering of Higgins’ true identity.
Turner also captured a screenshot of the story declaring Higgins’ illness before it was removed from the site.
Here it is, by the way… pic.twitter.com/YASFnI9L2G
— Jonno Turner (@jonnot) July 19, 2016
If you want to read the full stream of tweets about the story you can view them here.