After four years working to gain recognition, Stourbridge band Midas were delighted when their single Red Shoes reached number 16 in the midweek UK charts.

But just two days later the group's celebrations were halted as the song was kicked out for alleged "hyping" - an attempt to alter its chart position. Now, two weeks on, the group are trying to clear their name.

David Kuczora, who runs Midlands-based Melting Ice Management, Midas's management company, yesterday denied the claims against the band. He said the group had reached the chart position in the same way as all other artists - by selling enough chart-eligible CDs and digital tracks.

In addition, he said they had made use of pre-ordering in time for its release date on August 20.

Mr Kuczora said the band's problems began after offering fans the chance to buy T-Mobile sim cards with credit for £5 to purchase the song as a download for £1.50, while touring with Los Angeles band Shiny Toy Guns.

It made the decision after realising hundreds of fans, who had sent SMS text messages to receive the song, were unable to complete the transaction because of a lack of credit. After buying the sim cards, the fans were able to text a number to receive the song and could keep the remaining credit and sim card for their own use.

But once entering the charts, Millward Brown - a market research company responsible for compiling the charts on behalf of the Official UK Charts' Company (OCC) requested a breakdown of the group's sales data.

It highlighted a number of sales which had come from consecutive phone numbers, because of the group's strategy to sell sim cards at the gigs.

Although there was nothing specific against this in the chart rules, all of the band's record sales were cancelled out.

An OCC spokeswoman said the majority of Midas's sales came through "sequential phone numbers from bulk purchased SIM cards sold to fans by the band".

She said: "Having no sight of the original transaction makes it extremely difficult to establish such sales as genuine purchases on the basis of the data reported.

"On that basis sales of this single were excluded from the Singles Chart released on Sunday August 26.

She said had the band approached OCC in advance to check their proposed marketing activity, they would have been strongly advised not to pursue it.

However, Mr Kuczora said: "The problem we came across in the campaign was that 200-300 of the people at gigs did not have enough credit on their phones.

"We spoke to fans and asked them if they liked our songs and they said they did but they didn't have any credit. So we sold sim cards loaded with credit so that people at the gigs could purchase them.

"We got a deal with T-Mobile and what we put to the chart company was that we weren't selling the song ourselves but through a chart-eligible retailer. It seems to be quite a closed system and because their decision was so late, there was not much we could do.

"What we have said to a lot of people was the chart position was the culmination of promoting the group through the press and radio and it was only one small part of our campaign."

The OCC spokeswoman conceded the chart was the "most accurate in the world" and was continually evolving to "accommodate innovative marketing on the part of labels and artists to ensure that it remains the true barometer of the nation's most purchased songs".

"To maintain the fairness and integrity of the singles chart it is essential that all sales must be genuine consumer purchases and, for that reason, OCC's market research firm - Millward Brown - employs a range of security checks to monitor sales across the UK."