Prime Minister David Cameron lends backing to cash-strapped Portsmouth
Wednesday 01 February 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron has today thrown his support behind Portsmouth's battle for financial survival.
Pompey were last week issued with a winding-up order by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over an unpaid tax bill in the region of £1.6million, with the petition due to be heard in court on February 20.
Portsmouth's bank accounts were subsequently frozen on Monday although the south-coast outfit are confident they will be reactivated in the coming days so staff wages can be paid.
The club are seeking new owners and want HMRC to give them more time to find a solution to their financial issues.
The situation was raised by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt during today's session of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. And Cameron replied by agreeing to call upon HMRC to work with Portsmouth to help the club through their problems.
Mordaunt said: "If a local supermarket closes down another quickly takes its place. If Portsmouth Football Club closes down, the Pompey fans will not be content with buying their season tickets from Southampton.
"Will the Prime Minister add his voice to mine in calling for HMRC to meet with the club so it recoups the taxes it's owed, that our club survives and that the fans have their chance to become its owners?"
Cameron responded: "I will certainly do that. I think she is absolutely right to raise this issue. Knowing one or two Pompey fans I can completely understand.
"The idea that they can go and support Southampton is completely incredible. We must do everything we can to keep this friendly rivalry going."
The high-profile support has been well received by those at Fratton Park.
Pompey chief executive David Lampitt told the club's official website: "I would like to place on record our thanks to Penny Mordaunt and to the Prime Minister for supporting the efforts of the club and its supporters in pursuing an exit route from its current circumstances.
"We will continue to do everything we can to that end, including working with HMRC and other creditors to ensure that the club has the time it needs."
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