Sporting stars' foundations struggle to file accounts on time

A study of the accounts of 20 foundations shows that some grow into substantial bodies, but others fail to keep to the filing requirements

Mo Farah
Mo Farah

Charitable foundations started by some of the UK’s biggest sports starts are struggling to file their accounts on time, research by Third Sector has found.

An examination of the accounts of 20 foundations showed that, although some have grown to be substantial organisations, others fail to keep on top of their filing requirements.

The Mo Farah Foundation, started by the multiple gold medal-winning athlete, filed its accounts for the year to the end of March 2015 more than seven weeks late. Accounts for the same year for the charity started by the former footballer Craig Bellamy are still overdue and are eight weeks late.

The charity founded by the former footballer Jason Roberts has also struggled to lodge its documents with the Charity Commission on time: its returns have been late in three of the five most recent years. This includes its accounts for 2014, which were filed more than four months late, according to the charity’s entry on the regulator’s website.

The research found that some such foundations last only a few years before being wound up, including that started by the footballer Glen Johnson, who has played more than 50 times for England. His charity lasted less than two years on the Charity Commission’s register before being wound up because it did not operate.

Last month, the commission said it was looking into concerns including the management and administration of the foundation started by the footballer Didier Drogba, after negative coverage in the Daily Mail newspaper.

Drogba has said he strongly contests the Mail’s claims, which included accusations of low charitable expenditure and allegations that donors might have been misled.

No one from the Mo Farah Foundation or the Jason Roberts Foundation responded to a request for comment. Calls from Third Sector to the telephone number listed on the Charity Commission website for the Craig Bellamy Foundation went unanswered.

The full findings of the research will be published in the June edition of Third Sector, out today.

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