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Express & Star comment: Where's the money, Saido?

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

The mystery surrounding ex-Albion striker Saido Berahino's charity foundation has still not been resolved.

Former Baggies striker Saido Berahino now plays for Stoke

And it appears that we may never know whether it raised as much as a single penny for any good causes, after a Charity Commission investigation drew a blank.

Berahino launched his foundation at a glitzy event almost three years ago, pledging to raise funds for WaterAid, which helps poor countries establish clean water supplies.

Worryingly, the charity says it has never received any money from the event.

So where has the money gone?

With the Charity Commission failing to establish whether any cash was raised, and Berahino's agent refusing to play ball, it is a question that we may never get a satisfactory answer to.

Quite frankly, this is a ridiculous situation that could have an unfortunate impact on other charities.

There is already a distinct lack of public confidence in charities as a result of the Oxfam scandal, which revealed among other things that staff had sexually exploited victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

The fallout saw a huge drop in donations to Oxfam. It will take the charity years to regain any sort of positive reputation. It is likely that its name will always be associated with this scandal.

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There should never be any doubt over the destination of money that is donated to charity.

To state the obvious, it should be used for helping people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

All charitable organisations have a duty to operate with complete transparency.

In this day and age, we should not see examples of questionable practice in this field.

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For charities to succeed, and perform the valuable roles that they do in our society, there must be a high level of public confidence.

Under no circumstances should people be left questioning where their money has gone.

This is particularly true at a time when many people are facing an uncertain future on the employment front.

Charities are vital to our society.

Their work frequently fills a void by taking care of people who may otherwise fall through the cracks of society.

We need clarity over the funds raised by the Saido Berahino Foundation.

Let's hope we have not heard the end of this.

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