Pompey face ultimatum over unpaid taxes

With Al-Fahim in hospital, Portsmouth's finances slip further towards crisis point

Revenue officials are set to begin proceedings against Portsmouth Football club if the South Coast club fails to settle an outstanding tax bill.

The Independent has learnt that the club, which was this week unable to pay its players their September salaries, could be served with a statutory demand from the Revenue and Customs (HMRC) ordering the full payment of outstanding taxes it is owed.

The statutory demand procedure is the first step in the winding up of a company and is a presumption of insolvency. If Pompey fail to pay the outstanding bill then a compulsory winding up order would be triggered and a Court could seek the closure of the club after 21 days.

It is believed that Pompey has paid off some money owed to the taxman but a spokesman for the South Coast club confirmed that the club was still in arrears with the HMRC, although he declined to say how much by.

The spokesman added that the club had "not received anything from the Revenue" regarding a winding-up order. A spokesman for HMRC declined to comment.

Earlier in the year Portsmouth was threatened with dissolution by Companies House, the register of corporate activity in Britain, after the football club failed to file key annual return documents to authorities. However, the club eventually complied with the warning by the end of June.

News of the Revenue's likely intervention at Fratton Park comes after one of the most traumatic weeks in the club's history.

Yesterday, chairman Sulaiman al-Fahim was admitted to a Dubai hospital for emergency surgery to remove kidney stones.

The 32-year-old property tycoon, who officially took over the reins at the club in the summer, has promised to inject a further £50m into the club's coffers in the coming weeks but this has so far not been forthcoming.

Last week Pompey received an emergency injection of £5m which will enable players and staff at the club to be paid their September wages, originally due last Wednesday.

Portsmouth's chief executive, Peter Storrie, is believed to have secured the cash bailout from Ali al-Faraj, the Saudi property investor who almost bought Portsmouth in the summer.

It is thought that the £5m loan to Pompey may have been secured against the club's assets meaning that Faraj could ultimately wrestle control of the club from Fahim, if the loan is not repaid. The two parties were due to meet this week following Portsmouth's away tie against Wolves but that meeting has now been shelved because of Fahim's illness.

Just last week Storrie – Portsmouth's chief executive since 2002 – said of the club's plight: "There is no money left. All the money from all the player transfers and the Sky TV money – all of the £35m from January – has gone straight to the Standard Bank."

He added: "He [Fahim] has promised to refinance and he has shown me all the documentation but I have no idea about the conditions of the £50m he says will be arriving in a few weeks. We need to refinance, it is as simple as that."

News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
news

As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Life and Style
fashionThe Secret Angels all take home huge sums - but who earns the most?
Sport
football

Striker ignored Brendan Rodger's request to applaud audience

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?