A charity raffle had to be cancelled after a man used a loophole to send in 2,000 free entries.
Frome Town Football Club in Somerset had joined forces with a local car dealership to set up a prize draw to win a £16,000 car, with tickets priced at £5 each.
The club had agreed with the dealership, Platinum Motors, that once the cost of the new SsangYong Tivoli EX had been covered the remainder would go to the club, with 20 per cent going to the community support charity Fair Frome.
But gambling laws meant that postal entries had to be accepted for free.
The club said in a statement that it began receiving postcards from around the UK wanting entries to the draw, and the competition was flagged up on the MoneySavingExpert website as a free way to win a car.
In the statement, published last week, the club said then “an unthinkable action happened” when it discovered a box of 2,001 postcards on its doorstep from one person.
“All from just one man – and, worse, a local Frome man,” the club said. “Followed by a proud email from the same person detailing and documenting his actions.
“In this email he also requested that he be kept in the loop and he wanted photographic proof of the draw. Insinuating that foul play may occur during the draw, while claiming effectively £10,000 worth of free entries to the competition.”
The club said: “The prize draw was now dead.”
It said that both the club and Platinum Motors had lost money due to the campaign being incomplete.
“We had set out to do something that we hoped would help the club, our food banks and give everyone in the community a bit of excitement, while changing someone’s life by awarding them a fantastic prize,” the club said.
“But we’ve been a little too trusting and maybe a little naive.”
It said it aimed to refund anyone who had donated to the campaign.
It subsequently said that it received a “large number of requests” for people to donate the money they had been refunded, which would be split between the club and Fair Frome.