Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

HMRC court dates

Posted by John Beech on January 28, 2010

With all the adjournments yesterday, I make the revised schedule of winding-up petitions to be heard as:

  • 3 February – Accrington Stanley
  • 10 February – Cardiff City, Hinckley United, and Portsmouth
  • 17 February – Burscough
  • 24 February – Notts County
  • 10 March – Chester City

plus Crystal Palace, now in Administration, and the joker in the pack, Southend United, where Chairman Ron Martin is disputing the debt and threatening counter-action.

That’s a total of nine clubs, one in the Premier League, five in the Football League and three from lower in the pyramid. Watch this space…

[Correction: That should be ten, with six in the Football League.  Scroll down for Plymouth Argyle on 3 February]


9 Responses to “HMRC court dates”

  1. John Beech said


    A second winding-up petition is due on 10th February, this one from Grosvenor Basingstoke Properties Limited and Grosvenor Basingstoke Management Limited (1). This is apparently over a relatively small sum to do with a debt over a shop rental in Basingstoke for which the club is guarantor (2). (Don’t worry – I’m equally puzzled!)

    Meanwhile a group of fans’ representatives are to meet with the Premier League to discuss concerns about the involvement in the club of Daniel Azougy (3)

    By the way, it is probably worth mentioning by way of clarification, in case anyone was wondering, that I am not related to Bob Beech, Pompey activist, and have never been in contact with him.

    • John Beech said


      The club are reported to have missed the deadline for a £9 million repayment to Sacha Gaydamak (1). Clearly they need some advice and a financial solution from PFC Financial Services (2). Oh, hang on, that might not be such a good idea.

  2. John Beech said


    Plymouth Argyle were also due in court today to face a winding-up petition brought by HMRC. However, the petition was withdrawn as the club have paid their bill, for an unspecified figure (1). A loan from the club’s Japanese investors had been delayed, resulting in the brinkmanship. A transfer embargo has also been lifted.

    The loan of £1m had been agreed in mid-December, and followed other loans of £1.5m and £450,000 within the last three months (2).

    Anyone other than a regular observer of the English football sector might be surprised that the club is planning a new 40,000-seater stadium (3 then scroll down).

  3. John Beech said


    Stanley too have lived to fight another day (1). The club paid off its latest debt of £78,000 to HMRC with hours to spare, but lumbered themselves with court costs of £1,000.

    According to Club President Peter Marsden, the club can “now look forward to a bright future”. Hmmm.

  4. John Beech said


    It is being reported that Pompey has yet another new owner – Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai (1). It is understood that he acted over the club’s failure to repay loans he made earlier in the season.
    See also (2) and (3).

  5. John Beech said


    According to yesterday’s London Gazette (1), the winding-up petition served by HMRC on 22 December will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice tomorrow at 10:30. It would appear that HMRC have not been impressed by Chairman Ron’s protestations. As I write, there has been no comment on the club’s website (2).

    • John Beech said


      The club has now issued a statement (1), which actually manages to avoid any mention of tomorrow’s appearance in court! It describes HMRC’s action as ‘wholly unnecessary‘.
      I can’t see that making provocative statements less than 24 hours before you appear in court is the most effective or sensible of strategies.

  6. John Beech said


    Burscough returned to the High Court yesterday and were allowed one final extension of two weeks to pay their tax bill (1). The club are in serious financial difficulty after the departure of ‘benefactor’ Chris Lloyd (2). Fans have raised £15,000 but this may well not be enough to save the club.

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