Pompey must return to court over tax bill

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth must return to the High Court today after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs challenged their voluntary administration. HMRC is believed to be concerned by certain aspects of the administration process and will be seeking clarification from Portsmouth.

It is understood the club will be given time to consider their response before being asked to attend a second hearing where a decision on the validity of the administration will be made. This latest development does not appear to threaten the administration process.

Andrew Andronikou, the administrator in charge of Portsmouth, was informed of the challenge yesterday. "We're having to go to court to show that the debenture is valid," Andronikou said. "We're not unduly worried." Portsmouth went into administration on Friday with estimated debts of £78m.

It is understood the Premier League is due to discuss Portsmouth's case at a board meeting today, though this could now be rescheduled.

The day had started promisingly when a New Zealand businessman, Victor Cattermole, revealed he was willing to discuss a takeover. He is confident he will still want to invest once Andronikou has finished his investigation of the accounts. "We're still interested," Cattermole said. "I think [the chance of a deal] is quite good because I really don't think the situation is as bad as people would think."

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