Commission opens statutory inquiry into Professional Footballers’ Association charity

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The Commission has opened a statutory inquiry to examine concerns about the way the Professional Footballers’ Association Charity PFAC (charity number 1150458) is managed. A statutory inquiry is the Commission’s most serious intervention.

The PFAC’s purpose is to advance the health and education of its beneficiaries as well as support them during periods of hardship.

In November 2018, the Commission opened a regulatory compliance case to explore concerns raised about the charity’s relationship with the Professional Footballers’ Association trade union and their management of conflicts of interest.

During the past year, the Commission met with the trustees as well as other parties. The Commission obtained and assessed information from the charity, union and others. Despite extensive engagement, the Commission continues to have serious concerns which have led to the opening of this inquiry. The inquiry has made no findings to date.

The inquiry will examine:

• the charity’s relationship and transactions with other bodies and whether they are in the best interests of the charity

• whether the charity’s activities have been exclusively charitable and for the public benefit

• the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, examining how conflicts of interest have been dealt with and managed, and whether there has been any unauthorised trustee benefit

• whether or not the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities under charity law

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

Stephen Grenfell, Head of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission, said:

The public rightly expect charities to operate to the highest standards – across all they do. Serious concerns have been raised about the way the Professional Footballers’ Association charity is run. We will now examine what has happened at the charity through a full statutory inquiry and ensure, where necessary, action is taken.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.

Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.

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