Charity Doesn't Begin At Home Park
The Charity Commission has issued a damning report criticising the Trustees of the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust.
Last season the Trust loaned PAFC £330,000 believing the cash would settle a tax bill with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and save the club from liquidation.
The loan was secured against the Home Park stadium and the Trustees agreed to a deal proposed by Argyle director Paul Stapleton, himself a Trustee with PAST&DT, and voted to loan the cash to PAFC.
However, just a few weeks later the club entered into administration and PAST&DT became a creditor.
In February 2011 PAST&DT issued the following statement:
'Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust is pleased to announce that following an opportunity to invest in Home Park Stadium
The Trust has agreed to provide a short term mortgage secured on Home Park Stadium.
These negotiations have been ongoing since the 1st of January and have now reached a satisfactory outcome.
The Trustees are pleased to have been able to agree a package which will benefit both parties.'
PAST&DT is a registered charity formed in 1995 to help the young players at Argyle.
PAST&DT housed the youth players at the Argyle Hostel with funds provided by donations from fans.
The Trust had a clear constitution: 'to provide and assist in the provision of facilities for recreation and other leisure time occupation for the benefit of young persons under 18 and resident in the counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset and in particular, to provide education and training in the skills and techniques in football, so that due attention is given to the education and development of such persons.'
In 2007 the football club decided to house the young players themselves and consequently there was no further need for PAST&DT and the group decided to sell the Argyle Hostel.
The Charity Commission investigated the loan made by PAST&DT and were critical of Stapleton (pictured above) and the Trustees.
Read the full report from the Charity Commission HERE.