Charities waiting for cash raised at Pompey matches

Pompey are in a new row over charity cash
Pompey are in a new row over charity cash
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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MONEY which was supposed to be donated to good causes by Portsmouth Football Club has not been passed on to the charities, The News can reveal.

The club’s administrators PKF have confirmed that about £8,400 is outstanding to organisations dating back to before the club went into administration in February.

The cash was raised after a £2 administration fee was placed on tickets bought on match days at the start of the 2011/12 season, and fans were told the cash would be donated to charity.

The funds would be split between the Pompey Sports Education Foundation (PSEF) and whichever charity was collecting at Fratton Park on the day of the match.

But the administrators have confirmed that charities did not receive the admin fees from games held between October and December.

Almost £6,400 is owed to PSEF while the rest was to be split between Eastleigh-based charity Simon Says, U Support, The Rainbow Centre in Fareham, the British Legion and Help for Hospices, which teamed up with the Football League as its official partner charity for the 2011/12 season.

The games in question were the fixtures against Barnsley on October 15, Doncaster Rovers on October 22, Nottingham Forest on November 5, Leicester City on November 26 and Coventry City on December 3.

The £2 admin fee was dropped upon PKF’s appointment, the accountancy firm said.

Pompey’s parent company Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) went into administration on November 29 and the club followed on February 17.

This is the second time the club has left charities without cash they were promised.

When the club went into administration in February 2010 several organisations including the Tom Prince Cancer Trust were not paid money they were owed. The club later reimbursed them.

Trevor Birch, the club’s administrator, said he had sympathy with the charities.

He said: ‘This is a desperately sad situation and it should not have been allowed to happen. Nobody wants to see charities losing out and I sympathise with everyone that is out of pocket.’

Paula Wiseman, operations manager at Simon Says, said the charity was owed around £350.

She said: ‘We went bucket collecting outside Fratton Park for the Doncaster Rovers game. It was great and the club said we would get a percentage of all ticket sales.

‘Subsequently with the situation they were in, the administrators are trying to put our case forward to get that money for us – it would be a huge benefit to us.

‘Pompey have been really good in supporting charities in the community. Initially I didn’t think there was a problem and we were arranging cheque presentations.’

Clare Acklam, fundraising manager at the Rainbow Centre, said the charity held a bucket collection at the Coventry City fixture.

She said: ‘We haven’t been paid the money yet but we have been asked to fill out a form by the administrators saying that we are owed money. We were quite surprised to know we were owed money. We are owed £292 from the ticket percentages.

‘I am hopeful of getting the money back. We would like to work with them again as collections make a difference to us.’