Chesterfield fans have responded to the club charging £2,000 to arrange stewards for a recent benefit match for former striker Ernie Moss - by covering the costs themselves.
The family of the Spireites legend this week spoke of their dismay having not yet received a penny of the money raised at the match despite it being over a month since it was played.
Team Ernie is a charity set up by family of Moss, who suffers from a rare form of dementia.
They organised a game at the Proact on May 22 to raise awareness of Pick’s Disease and financially benefit charities like Dementia UK and the Once Upon a Smile Foundation.
Having not yet had any indication of how much money was raised at the event, Moss’s family were then hit with the bombshell that they were being charged £2,000 for the stewarding on the day.
Moss’s daughter, Nikki Trueman, said: “I didn’t expect everything to be free, all the money the club made on food and drink they kept, which I understand, but even people at the club have said they’re shocked at the amount for stewards.
“Quite a few of the stewards that I know said they would do it for free, but I was told I wasn’t allowed to choose the stewards.
“A few on the day said they would do it just for dad but then we’re told we’re being charged £2,000.”
The club responded with a statement on its official website which read: “Ernie’s daughter, Nikki, was informed by our ticket office manager that the financial details would be resolved once the relevant member of staff returned to the club, which she accepted. We have set up a meeting at Nikki’s earliest convenience to sort everything out and reach a satisfactory conclusion.
“When Nikki approached our chief executive, Chris Turner, to ask whether the match could be staged at the Proact, he readily agreed to provide the facilities for the day free of charge. In order to comply with health & safety regulations, a set number of stewards were required to be in attendance, as outlined to the organisers from the outset.
“The club has an excellent relationship with the Moss family and long may that continue. Ernie is quite rightly regarded as a true Spireites legend following his tremendous service to the club over many years and he and his family are always made welcome at the Proact.
“We held an Ernie Moss Day to pay tribute to Ernie, as well as raise awareness of Pick’s Disease and generate funds for Dementia UK. We have also raised money for dementia charities through raffles and collections held at the stadium in Ernie’s name.
“We will continue to help and support the Moss family in any way we can to help raise awareness of the terrible disease Ernie is suffering from.”
However, upon hearing the news that the club was charging for the stewarding, supporters set up a fundraising page to help cover the cost and which has subsquently seen its total surpass the £2,000 target. One supporter even pledged £1,000 to the cause.
The page states: “In May, a football match for the Team Ernie fundraising charity was set up.
“Chesterfield Football Club hosted this event and sadly charged £2,000 for the stewarding of the game.
“This page is being launched to cover the loss of that amount to the charity set up by the devoted family and friends of former Spireite legend Ernie Moss.”
In a message left on the page, Nikki Trueman said: “Thank you to all the wonderful Spireites... I am in tears. Stunned, proud and humbled. Thank you.”
If you’d like to donate to the fund, click here