Rangers Charity Foundation found to have incorrectly assigned cash from Italian friendly
Last season’s friendly match between former AC Milan and Rangers players, organised by the Rangers Charity Foundation and played with the intention of donating 60% of match proceeds to the foundation, has been found by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) to have incorrectly assigned money from the match in a breach of duties on the part of the charity.
The match took place on 30 March 2012, over a month after administrators were called in to run the Glasgow club, which subsequently went into liquidation.
Tuesday saw the OSCR declare that the charity had a conflict of interest, reports STV, after it was found to have transferred the larger part of its proceeds from the match to the Ibrox side and not to charitable causes.
The charity watchdog released a report on the matter, detailing the Rangers Charity Foundation’s breach of regulations.
“The OSCR concludes that since the charity was set up, there has been an inherent conflict of interest present as a result of the charity trustees’ connection to The Rangers Football Club plc,” the report stated.
“Based on the information provided to us, we further consider that the decision-making process in the charity, which allowed a decision to be taken by one trustee to assign the agreement with AC Milan Glorie [the team made up of former Milan players] to The Rangers Football Club plc (in administration) without consultation with the other charity trustees and without a quorum, was in breach of the charity trustee duties.
“In addition, the conflict of interest presented by the assignation was not managed appropriately and professional advice was not obtained as required by the charity’s trust deed.”
The report found that three of the charity’s trustees were either former employees of Rangers or were still employed by them at the time the decision was made to forego the bulk of the proceeds and instead transfer them to the club. It does, however, highlight that the decision was taken by only one of these trustees (named only as ‘Trustee C’ in the report).
“In Trustee C’s view unless the joint administrators had control of the income from the fundraising event they were unlikely to agree to the event going ahead,” said the report.
“Trustee C considered that assigning the charity’s interest in the agreement to The Rangers Football Club plc (in Administration) fulfilled the legal duties of a charity trustee because the event would still be able to take place and, in terms of the agreement reached with the administrators, the charity would still receive some benefit.
“Trustee C did not obtain professional advice before making this decision. The date of the decision to assign the event was, unfortunately, not formally recorded but was made on or about 21 February 2012.”
The Rangers Charity Foundation ultimately accepted 10% of the proceeds (around £38,286) and a management fee worth £25,000.
Nevertheless, the OSCR declared they will not be pursuing any further action in the case.
“After careful consideration of the circumstances in which the decision to assign the charity’s interest in the agreement was made, we have concluded that although the decision was a breach of legal duties the circumstances were such that it would not be a proportionate use of our regulatory powers to take further action,” the report continued.
“The decision to assign the charity’s rights in the contract was made in good faith and in the interests of the charity given the risk that otherwise the event may not have taken place, in which case the charity would have received no benefit at all.”
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