Doncaster Rovers insist a competition to design the club’s 2016/17 away kit was “fair and above board” after it was won by One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson.
Rovers asked their fans to send in their ideas for next season’s kits, with the top five designs being put in an online poll.
In the away shirt category, the boy-band member and Rovers fan’s black design received 33.7 per cent of the votes but the club attracted criticism when it was revealed who was behind the design.
As Doncaster launched the kit in Thailand, the club released a statement saying: “The process for receiving kit designs, shortlisting and the public voting for our kit design competition followed strict legal guidance to ensure that the club adhered to competition law and that all processes were fair.
“We are aware that the result of the competition has attracted some mixed feedback, but we can assure our fans that the voting process for the 2016/17 shirt designs was all fair and above board.”
Soooooo me and my Grandad Len won the competition of designing the new Donny away shirt. Pretty sick ?
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) April 4, 2016
As part of the competition, the 24-year-old has won flights to Thailand to see the first stage of the kit manufacturing.
Tomlinson has regularly been involved with events at the Keepmoat Stadium in the past, in 2013 signing a non-contract deal in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice which led to him playing in a reserve team game the following year, while he and businessman John Ryan came close to buying the club in 2014 before the deal fell through.