When the Charity Commission announced it was checking out the FA’s conduct of marketing and sale of tickets for the famous soccer season opener, it was a reminder of the detailed regulations affecting this sector. Check these out here
Who The Charity Commission and the Footba Commission and the Football Association
When August 2001
The Charity Commission launched a formal inquiry into the handling of ticket sales for the annual FA "Charity Shield" football match between the previous season's winners of the Premier League and the FA Cup. No impropriety is necessarily suggested but the Commission simply wishes to establish whether the FA complied with regulations introduced under the Charities Act 1992.
Why this matters
In March 1995, Part II of the 1992 Charities Act and The Charitable Institutions (Fund Raising) Regulations 1994 came into force. These introduced a set of tight controls on good cause marketing. The new rules included a stipulation that wherever an advertiser plans to run a promotion or other commercial activity which benefits a charitable cause, there must be a written contract between the advertiser and the charity concerned. The contract must cover a number of prescribed aspects of the arrangement such as how proceeds available for charity are going to be split if more than one charity is involved.
Another area covered by the 1995 rules, and which reports of the Charity Shield investigation suggest will be a particular focus of the Commission inquiry, is the content of relevant promotional material. This must clearly identify the charity or charities which will benefit from the promotion. If there is more than one, the method by which the proceeds will be split between the two must be described. Also, what proportion of the purchase price for any promotional product will go to charity must be stated or the method by which the proceeds for non charitable participants in the promotion will be determined.
These are just some of the rules that apply to this kind of promotion. Any advertiser considering a good cause related promotion would do well to refresh their memories on the full extent of the controls which apply. Fines of up to £5000 await convicted non compliers.