The sports world is still reeling from the revelation that third-tier English soccer club Chesterfield FC recently falsified the results of a fan raffle that only four people entered, awarding a preseason trip to Hungary with the team to a non-existent fan. Attempting to regain the public’s trust, the team just announced that a thorough investigation into the matter revealed the fraud to be the work of a lone actor, who has subsequently been fired.
Here is a statement from Chesterfield’s director, via The Guardian:
“After a thorough internal investigation, I can now confirm the person responsible for this total farce has now left the football club,” said the Chesterfield director and company secretary, Ashley Carson.
“I am still reeling from the shameful incident that has attracted nationwide headlines for the club for all the wrong reasons,” Carson said. “Kevin Fitzgerald has been a hard-working, respected, likeable employee who has, for some reason, made a massive error of judgment and has paid the consequences for his actions. The board were unaware of his actions and have taken swift action after uncovering the truth.”
This all seems rather convenient, doesn’t it? I’m sure Chesterfield would love for everyone to pin their anger on this Kevin Fitzgerald while simultaneously letting the rest of the club off the hook.
But why should we take the results of Chesterfield’s investigation at face value? Why wasn’t an independent firm hired to conduct the enquiry, and why hasn’t Chesterfield’s full investigatory report been made public? Where are the emails, text messages, and interview transcripts?
Unless we, the public, are willing to hold the discomforting fire of the truth to the feet of such institutions of power, travesties like this will continue to happen.