Sheffield Wednesday escape administration

The Co-operative Bank came to the rescue of Sheffield Wednesday in the High Court today by settling the football club's debts with the taxman.

Hilary Stonefrost, representing the bank, said it was prepared to pay the £703,000 debt if HM Revenue and Customs withdrew its winding-up petitions against Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and Sheffield Wednesday PLC.

Registrar Christine Derrett approved the settlement after hearing HMRC would dismiss the petitions.

The League One club was given 28 days last month to pay up after High Court registrar Peter Nicholls was told the football club had already made a "substantial payment".

Hugo Groves, representing the club, had asked for the adjournment of the winding-up petitions after saying money from the sale of players had been used to reduce the outstanding PAYE balance.

"There are also very serious and advanced negotiations for the sale of the club," he said.