The world can forgive you if you do not become a world-renowned football legend, but it probably won’t if you use your abysmal career to create a dubious international charity.
This is what Damian Batt is accused of. According to the Telegraph, the pro footballer who did not reach the Premier League, went on to become the president of his charity, Alexander Du’bel Wish Foundation.
The Charity Commission is claiming that Damian Batt’s charity has misled the public and has planned to raise £3.5 million for granting dying children’s wishes. The Alexander Du’Bel Wish Foundation has reportedly held parties with the appearance of multiple celebrities, including the popular girl group Little Mix.
However, even after all the public bonanzas, Batt admittedly owed £60,000 to debtors who said he was a “chancer.”
Is His Charity Legal?
According to Companies House, the footballer registered the company back in June 2015, but had failed to provide other requirements that the Commission is requesting.
“We informed the organization on the additional information that would be required to consider this further,” noted the Companies House.
“If an organisation meets the requirements for charity registration then it must, by law, register with the Commission.
“We will be contacting the Alexander Du’Bel Wish Foundation to seek more information about any further application and their ongoing description of the organisation as a charity. This is misleading to the public given that it has not been granted charitable status.”
Further investigation also showed that the Alexander Du’Bel Group has at least two separate companies under its brand; one is for a luxury travel business and the other is for diamond jewelry. However, both of these companies have not published any accounts, so they were dissolved in the course of 4 years. Alexander Du’Bel Holdings reportedly registered another business last October, but there are no updates on the latest registration yet.
Damian Batt, Smooth Talker
Damian Batt now has a reputation of just being an “all-talk” businessman. With a failing football career, he now adds his scandalous holdings under his name.
Batt was said to have organized the launch of his charity back in December in one of London’s luxurious events spaces, Battersea Evolution. He even charged £100 for the tickets.
Director of fundraising at Shooting Star Chase Karen Sugarman, who represents The Countess of Wessex and Simon Cowell, noted that she has worked with the charity before.
“In 2015 Alexander Du’Bel Wish Foundation organised a special meet and greet with a celebrity girl band for a family supported by Shooting Star Chase.
“We were considering further plans to work with the foundation but after this visit made the decision to focus on other projects.”
Damian Batt’s charity and businesses had bad reputation all over it. Aside from the alleged £60,000 of debt which was owned to about seven individuals that helped launch the foundation, he insisted that there was about £200,000 which should cover all of his companies’ debts. Batt is blaming a partner who promised to support him, but left “at the last second.”
“I have had a year from hell,” said Mr Batt. “I had a partner involved who was supposed to sponsor the event but he pulled out at the last second. It left me in a huge whole financially.”
“It left me out of pocket personally by hundreds of thousands.”
Batt did not disclose the name of the said partner since the investor was “more famous than me.” Batt also added that he did not create his holdings and charity to drive financial gains.
“I want to leave a legacy. I have done it all correctly. The only problem has been on the financial side.
“The foundation’s launch was very successful. It was phenomenal. The charity was set up correctly. We had great trustees in straight away.
“It upsets me a hell of a lot that the charity has been brought up because it is something I am passionate about.”
[Feature Image by: Pete Norton/Getty Images]