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PFA Charity handed official warning over 'mismanagement' of funds after probe by Charity Commission

PFA Charity hit with an official warning about ‘mismanagement’ of funds – including £1.9million in charitable funds transferred from their accounts – after a Charity Commission investigation sparked by Sportsmail

  • PFA Charity – now known as the Players’ Foundation – issued official warning
  • Charity commission investigation found ‘mismanagement’ between 2013 and 2019
  • Investigation followed reports of possible violations of union and charitable rules
  • Regulator acknowledged the charity had ‘taken steps to remedy the shortcomings’

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The PFA’s Charity Department has been issued an official warning and told the Charity Commission could take further action.

An investigation into the organization is still ongoing, but it has emerged that the regulator observed ‘mismanagement’ between 2013 and 2019.

The PFA Charity – now known as the Players’ Foundation – has been taken aback by the warning and told the legal investigation has found “several shortcomings… over an extended period of time”.

The inquiry also noted an “inability to ensure that its assets were used in the most appropriate manner by failing to review its long-standing relationship with, and payments to, a union (the PFA)” and a “failure in the adequately manage and control £1.9 million in charitable funds transferred from the charitable trust’s accounts.

The Charity Commission’s investigation followed revelations in this newspaper about possible violations of union and charitable rules, leading to the launch of a Charity Commission’s regulatory compliance case.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, who stepped down in 2021, made £2million a year

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, who stepped down in 2021, made £2million a year

The regulator acknowledged that the charity – now known as the Players Foundation – has “taken steps to address the shortcomings” but warned it could take “appropriate action” against administrators.

In November 2018, PFA charity accounts were found to contain £4 million ‘staff costs’. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, who stepped down in 2021, was making £2million a year.

In a statement, the Players Foundation said: “No other charity has been viewed as critically. Every aspect of our work has been under the magnifying glass. It was difficult for everyone involved, but we welcome the findings and are proud of the work we have done over the past nine years.

“We have mixed feelings. We are happy that the charity can finally move on, but also frustrated that this has been hanging over our heads for so long.’

Attempt by four PFA Charity administrators, including Garth Crooks (above) to challenge the Charity Commission by finding them guilty of 'maladministration' was rejected by a Supreme Court judge

Attempt by four PFA Charity administrators, including Garth Crooks (above) to challenge the Charity Commission by finding them guilty of 'maladministration' was rejected by a Supreme Court judge

Attempt by four PFA Charity administrators, including Garth Crooks (above) to challenge the Charity Commission by finding them guilty of ‘maladministration’ was rejected by a Supreme Court judge

In a seemingly contradictory statement, the Charity Commission said: “Our investigation into the Players Foundation (formerly the PFA) is ongoing and therefore cannot comment further at this time.”

In August, Sportsmail revealed that an extraordinary preemptive attempt by four PFA Charity executives to prevent the Charity Commission from finding them guilty of “maladministration” was unceremoniously rejected by a Supreme Court judge.

Former players, including Garth Crooks and Brendon Batson, had taken legal action against the regulator.

A PFA spokesperson added: ‘The Professional Footballers’ Association, the players’ union, is now an entirely separate organization from the Players Foundation – formerly known as the PFA Charity.’

Former players, including PFA Charity trustee Brendon Batson (left) had taken legal action against the regulator

Former players, including PFA Charity trustee Brendon Batson (left) had taken legal action against the regulator

Former players, including PFA Charity trustee Brendon Batson (left) had taken legal action against the regulator

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