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Charity Commission investigates Plymouth's fans' trust loan

Fri 4th Mar 2011 | Football Club Administration

A loan of £330,000 given to Plymouth Argyle by a fans’ trust is being examined by the Charity Commission.

The loan given to help the financially stricken club by the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust is understood to have been secured by a mortgage on the Home Park ground, which the club have said now ranks second in priority of four mortgages on the stadium.

At the time of the loan the trust which was set up in 1995 as a charity linked to the club, with fans donating money to help fund Argyle's youth development programme said; "Following an opportunity to invest in Home Park Stadium, the trust has agreed to provide a short-term mortgage secured on Home Park Stadium. The trustees are pleased to have been able to agree a package which will benefit both parties."

However it is understood that some supporters reacted with fury at the trust lending money to the club when they were facing potential insolvency, which could make it difficult for the trust to recover its loan.

The Charity Commission was called in after it received a number of formal complaints following the loan.

"We have contacted the trustees of the charity and requested more information regarding the loan made to Plymouth Argyle football club," the spokeswoman said.

"We are currently considering the information they have provided. We have not launched a formal investigation at this stage."

Plymouth are said to be £13m in debt, face a winding-up petition from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and could be forced into administration later today.

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