A Glasgow-based charity’s decision to allow Rangers Football Club to keep most of its share of proceeds from a charity match went against the charity’s governing document, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said today.
But the regulator has decided not to take action against Rangers Charity Foundation because the decision was made in the interests of the charity.
The OSCR said in a statement that it opened its inquiry into the Rangers Charity Foundation in February 2012 after it became aware of media interest in the charity and received complaints about a statement on the charity’s website.
Concerns were raised when a statement on the website said the foundation had agreed to let Rangers Football Club, which had gone into administration, keep most of its share of the proceeds from a charity match between its team and former players from AC Milan.
The event, billed as an "AC Milan Legends charity match and dinner", was initially organised to raise money for both teams’ charitable foundations. But Rangers Charity Foundation said in a statement on its website that it would "forgo the majority of its share of the proceeds" in favour of Rangers Football Club plc.
In a report on its inquiry into the Rangers Charity Foundation, published yesterday, the OSCR said the decision to give part of the proceeds of the fundraising event to the football club went against the charity’s trust deed. It said the decision was made by just one of the charity’s three trustees. "The trust deed does not empower individual charity trustees to exercise trustee powers on their own," the report said.
The report said the charity’s decision-making process, which allowed important decisions to be made by one trustee, was in breach of trustees’ duties and "constituted misconduct".
The OSCR report said the decision to award the funds to Rangers Football Club was made in good faith and in the interests of the charity "given the risk that otherwise the fundraising event might not have taken place".
The report said the OSCR would therefore not take action against the trustees. "Having looked carefully at the whole situation, OSCR has not found the ongoing risks to charitable assets or to the reputation of the sector justify OSCR taking action against any of the trustees," the report said.
In a statement online, the Rangers Charity Foundation’s trustees said they were pleased that the OSCR had concluded that the charity’s decision to give money raised by the fundraising event to Rangers Football Club was done in good faith and in the interests of the charity.
"In the event, the Rangers Charity Foundation received £63,288 from the events in March 2012. If the events had been cancelled then the foundation would have lost over £12,000 in pre-paid deposits and our ability to generously support worthy causes up and down the country would have undoubtedly suffered as a result," the statement said.