Regulator opens statutory inquiry into Professional Footballers' Association charity

The Charity Commission is examining whether the organisation's activities are 'exclusively charitable and for the public benefit'

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the charity connected to the Professional Footballers’ Association and will consider whether the organisation’s activities are "exclusively charitable and for the public benefit".

The PFA charity, which is the charitable arm of the trade union for professional footballers, has been the subject of numerous media reports about the management of the organisation, including the links between the union’s charitable arm and the salary of the PFA’s chief executive, Gordon Taylor.

Taylor, who announced last year that he would step down from the role, is believed to be paid £2.2m a year, but is not listed as an employee of the PFA’s charitable arm.

The 2017/18 accounts showed the PFA’s charity spent £4m on staff costs despite having no employees.

The organisation agreed to an independent review in 2018, around the time when the commission opened a regulatory compliance case on the charity.

The commission said in a statement that, despite "extensive engagement" with the PFA, it still had serious concerns about the management of the charity.

This included its relationship and transactions with other organisations and whether they were in the charity’s best interest, and whether its activities were exclusively charitable and for the public benefit.

The commission said it would consider extending the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerged.

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."

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