We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

Football League

Portsmouth face £1.6m tax winding-up petition


Portsmouth have been issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs. HMRC sources confirmed that the petition, over an unpaid tax bill of £1.6m, has been sent to the troubled Championship club.

"Ensuring tax is paid on time should be at the centre of a football club's business strategy just like any other business," said an HMRC spokesman. "Anyone that regards paying tax as an optional extra, or that uses tax collected from employees or customers as working capital, is potentially heading for trouble. It is only fair to those clubs and to other taxpayers who do meet their obligations that HMRC enforces payment of tax debts owed – and if need be, issues a winding up petition or seeks to appoint an administrator.

"While a winding-up order is a last resort, there is little HMRC can do for a business whose viability is dependent either on not paying the UK taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers with similar tax affairs."

On Friday, the Italian businessman Joseph Cala pulled out of a deal to buy the club.