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Chelsea FC 'near bottom' of charitable donations league

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Chelsea FC 'near bottom' of charitable donations league

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Published by webmaster for 24dash.com in Communities

Chelsea FC 'near bottom' of charitable donations league

Chelsea Football Club, owned by Russian billionaire tycoon Roman Abramovich, has come near the bottom of a league for donations to charity.

The club gave just £7,000 to charity, a survey of Premiership club accounts by intelligentgiving.com found.

Tottenham Hotspur came top, with a huge £4.5m donation - mainly thanks to the club setting up a new charitable trust.

Manchester United are only mid-table, with just £62,843 donated - less than a week's wages for some of their players.

Liverpool, taken over by US billionaires, gave no cash at all to charities in the last financial year, the report claimed.

The figures are worked out on the actual amount given to charities as a percentage of turnover of each club - not just on the highest monetary figure, and taken from the latest annual accounts of 20 Premiership clubs.

Middlesbrough, Everton, and Sheffield United joined Spurs in the top four 'Champions League' places.

Neill Ghosh, lead researcher at the firm, said: "With Premier League clubs turning over more than £1bn a year, these figures smack of an industry more interested in pandering to the bling-laden lifestyles of its workforce than in giving back to society."

The survey represents purely financial donations made by clubs to charities and takes no account of community involvement schemes, gifts in kind, fundraising projects and cash given from associated charitable trusts.

A Chelsea spokesman said later: "Last season Chelsea FC helped raise more than £4.5 million for good causes. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate, misinformed and misleading.

"Rather than criticising clubs like Chelsea, Intelligent Giving should be supporting the work that the club, the players and football in general undertake in raising money for good causes."

A spokesman for the Premier League said: "The methodology of this survey is highly suspect - not to take account of the club's charitable trusts, gifts in kind or the use of club resources - is to ignore a huge amount that football does to serve its communities.

"Two years ago Deloitte and Touche conducted an audit of Premier League clubs' community spend and put the figure in excess of £80 million a year and the Premier League itself is the UK's third largest corporate giver, according to Business in the Community.

"We have already committed more money from the new TV deals, both in real and percentage terms, to help fund causes. I really think you would struggle to find an industry that does more."

How the Premiership clubs ranked:

1 Tottenham Hotspur
2 Middlesbrough
3 Everton
4 Sheffield United
5 Charlton Athletic
6 Manchester United
7 Newcastle
8 Manchester City
9 Arsenal
10 Blackburn Rovers
11 Chelsea
12= Aston Villa
12= Bolton Wanderers
12= Fulham
12= Liverpool
12= Portsmouth
12= Reading
12= Watford 
12= West Ham
12= Wigan

Copyright Press Association 2007.

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