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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz