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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Charity Commission investigates loan to Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle

The Charity Commission is investigating the transfer of money from a charitable trust to Plymouth Argyle.

Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust took out a mortgage on the club's stadium in February.

The mortgage, understood to be around £300,000, was used to help support the financially-stricken club, who are now in administration.

The Charity Commission was made aware of the case following a complaint by a member of the public.

The Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust was founded in 1995, to help fund and support young players on the club's youth development programme.

A spokesperson from the Trust told BBC Spotlight that the mortgage was granted to help raise funds for the Trust's future and that the rate of return offered by the club on the mortgage was higher than that offered by the bank where the money was previously held.

When the money was transferred to the club in February, Peter Ridsdale, the current acting chairman of Plymouth Argyle, revealed it would be used to meet the club's next tax payment, helping avoid a winding-up petition being presented by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs.

The Devon outfit entered administration last Friday with debts believed to be over £10m, and a figure of £3m has been cited as being needed to keep the club afloat until the end of the season.

A statement from the Charity Commission said: "The Charity Commission opened a regulatory compliance case into the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust on Tuesday, 8 March.

"Our investigation relates to the charity's governance and financial management. We remain in contact with the charity."

The Charity Commission defines a 'regulatory compliance case' as one where the risks are limited, and problems can be resolved through "supervision, regulatory advice and guidance to trustees, without the need for us to intervene by using our legal powers - and it will usually be where we have serious concerns about the charity that amount to misconduct or mismanagement".

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see also
Argyle lays off 16 and shuts shop
08 Mar 11 |  Devon
Plymouth go into administration
04 Mar 11 |  Plymouth
Reid pays tribute to former staff
09 Mar 11 |  Plymouth
Loan gives Argyle breathing space
07 Feb 11 |  Devon

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