Date: 24th July 2010 at 11:28am
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HM revenue and customs seem like a very bitter bunch at the moment, with Preston, Portsmouth, Palace, Chester, and other clubs facing the iron grip of the taxman. But now it looks as if Sheffield Wednesday could be joining the long list of rabbits in the headlights of the revenue train.

Rumours first surfaced from the BBC who suggested that Wednesday owed the Tax man a sum of around half a million pounds, with the BBC source suggesting that Wednesday could be forced into administration via a winding up order.

HMRC trying to force more clubs into tough measures to suit their newly found ego.

Wednesday and their partners the Co-operative bank have denied reports of administration and have been ‘disappointed` by the decision by HMRC to apply for a winding up order, and reading through the lines of the statements it seems that there was little warning.

They did confirm that the sum of half a million was indeed accurate though, and despite a statement of confidence from both sides it seems that the Revenue are going to be their usual arrogant selves, in the name of us tax payers of course.

I`m an advocator of clubs answering to their debts and seeing clubs who overspend being punished, but Sheffield Wednesday have hardly spent millions over the last few years, and a lack of investment has seen them relegated to the third tier. With that In mind you have to ask why HMRC are towing such a hard line.

Why is this on Vital Southampton some may ask? The reason it is here is because the lower leagues are imploding from the tax man and every other money man bleeding them dry, the Premiership is raiding the finances of the lower leagues and before long, the beautiful game as we know it will be changed forever.


15 Replies to “Black Wednesday”

  • It wont be long before the taxman gets a major scalp and once he does we will see a domino affect across ALL leagues – Gotta feel for Wednesday although they seem to have it in hand anyway (lets hope so) Any club deciding not to pay the tax bill from here on in has just got to be damn stupid – Supporters of ALL clubs should here on in demand to seek assurances from their board that the tax bill has been paid – Afterall isn’t it ultimately us that suffers ??

  • That’s perhaps the most painful thing, the owners who don’t pay the tax and the business itself deserves to face whatever punishment they get as after all if we refused to pay our taxes we would be in the courtroom very quickly, that goes for every football club from Macclesfield to Man Utd, the owner loses out on money and such but the fans are the ones who have the lasting loss. Players and managers find new clubs but fans suffer the most. I mean your owners for example Chix… Gaydamak and whoever else was involved in all that corruption, if your club goes to the wall over this tax bill what is going to happen to the corrupt owners? Gaydamak won’t be held accountable and will probably walk away with a nice profit. That said we can’t exactly just let the clubs thrive and be lenient on tax and other payments, because clubs would just overspend without fear of redemption.

  • I am puzzled as to how the clubs and i mean all of them can miss payments. If it was you or me we would be hit with a late payment charge.

  • Businesses have different tax rules, to a point. Businesses who miss tax payments but can actually afford the payments are hit with a charge and then pay it the next day, some can afford to pay them back but not right now, and then normally HMRC put in a deadline before they go in and get the money themselves… it is indeed very complicated but the simple idea of it is, if you can’t pay the money back they will take your assets and use them to get their money back. As long as the tax man gets his money he doesn’t give a ***** about fans and history…. It’s why they want Pompey wound up, that stadium and the players would cover the tax a lot more than the administrators offer.

  • Having heard so much through the media about some clubs and their monetary plight, it seems highly probable that the taxman has decided enough is enough. Palce have been freed to come out of administration and hopefully the main target will be allowed to do the same soon. Whether Weds are ok as they seem confident of being only time will tell. Cardiff are still short of the readies according to all of the media talk. Pompey have been allowed to bring in three players which though good on paper for them, means less as they have to sell their best players before being allowed cut price replacements.As always it is the taxman hitting the fans much more than they are hitting the clubs.

  • HMRC deal with Tax from individuals and from businesses…that’s it. A football club is a business and nothing else matters when dealing with late payments.
    They say they are even handed…all are treated the same and who can argue with that. It’s Parliament who lay out the laws of the land and HMRC are just one of the government agencies who implement the laws.
    To HMRC club history and supporters are simply not part of the equation.

  • I agree with all that mox888 but sadly it is not the clubs that feel the pain from the fall-out. Maybe once all of the current action has been sorted the leagues will sort out the mess that is left. Not that I will be counting my chickens.

  • They would be less aggressive perhaps if the likes of Sol Campbell et all were allowed to get all that is owed.

  • The problem here is caused by FA rules.

    Normally when a company goes bust the assets are sold and the creditors are paid out in a specific order. Mortgage holders are paid out first, them preferential creditors (HMRC + other Government Departments) are paid second and anything left is paid out to unsecured creditors (usually suppliers, sub contractors etc.)
    The FA insists that the pecking order is changed and other clubs, agents and players wages are paid in preference to HMRC or the club are expelled from the league. League status is the major asset of a football club and Insolvency Practicioners are obliged to maximise the payout to creditors, so they pay the wages, other clubs and agents to enable them to keep the club in the league and sell to raise as much cash as possible. They then use what is left of the proceeds to pay other creditors.

    Debt laden clubs have been able to get in arrears with HMRC and get away with it unlike normal businesses because HMRC cannot get their money in the normal way.

    The FA is under pressure from all major political parties to change this rule. In the meantime, HMRC are taking this action to deter other clubs from abusing the taxpayer in this way. In the short teerm it will cause some clubs and supporters a lot of pain. In the long term, it will encourage a more prudent approach to club finances by directors as they cannot use Joe taxpayer as an unwilling creditor.

  • What’s worse in the case of the Owls is that unlike Portsmouth and the others, they have a bank behind them. It’s completely wrong that these people are STILL running around ruining viable businesses; the reason they lost preffered creditor status in the first place.

  • dedmans I don’t see how Sol Cambell getting his would stop the aggression. thought it was bills like his what caused the prob;em.

  • well, HMRC are being paid AFTER Sol Campbell, the idea of anyone getting paid before the tax man *****es them off, but a millionaire footballer? thats sure to make the tax man angry,

  • Its always the ones who get away scott free that cause the problems and the club is left to suffer the concequences after the guilty parties have fled. Call that justice?

  • Well, in some cases you have to punish the club to punish the owner, and if the club fail to pay their bills, it is the club who faces the repercussions, not the owner of the business. If a public limited company goes bust over huge debts and the majority shareholder has a house… its completely safe. I think that HMRC and other creditors should investigate clubs in trouble and where it is proven that the business failed due to the owners negligence and stupid decisions (AL fahim, Gaydamak, Lowe), then those people should be accountable for a percentage of the debt. It’s not justice Midge but the clubs must be punished, but as must the owners.

  • I tend to agree. Last the news was reporting that the Premier League owe nearly a £100million alone to the taxman. Where they get their figures from I don’t know but it has to be wrong for this to be allowed to continue.

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