Cherries: Big Halloween crowd could finally scare off the tax man

29 October 2009 07:00
CHERRIES chairman Eddie Mitchell says a bumper Halloween attendance could help the club finally rid itself of the dreaded tax man.[LNB] Mitchell insists the extra income from a 6,000-plus crowd for the visit of Rochdale on Saturday would go a long way to clearing the clubs outstanding debt to HM Revenue and Customs.[LNB] He was speaking after Cherries were yesterday given the go-ahead by the High Court in London to make a payment to the Revenue, the clubs most pressing creditor.[LNB] His comments also come on the eve of Cherries last home game before the club returns to court on November 16 for D-day on a winding-up petition, brought by HMRC over unpaid taxes of around £400,000.[LNB] Mitchell told the Daily Echo: We have been given permission to make a payment towards clearing the legacy debt and it will reduce it to £150,000. Were hoping to make another payment next week and that would reduce it even further.[LNB] We have got to get this debt paid by the middle of November, otherwise we could find ourselves in hot water.[LNB] If we could get an extra 1,000 through the turnstiles on Saturday that would go straight to the tax man as well. I am confident we will get there but we need people coming through the gate.[LNB] Unless we have an FA Cup replay or a second round tie, this is our last home game for five weeks so we need to get the numbers up because the income is going to dry up.[LNB] Although Cherries have the fifth highest average attendance in League Two (5,441), they have only attracted a 6,000-plus crowd once this season 6,327 against Burton Albion in September.[LNB] And despite topping the table continuously for more than six weeks, little more than 5,000 home supporters turned out for the 3-1 win over Grimsby five days ago.[LNB] Mitchell added: We need a good crowd, not just for the finances but to ensure we remain at the top of the table. Everybody associated with the club wants promotion.[LNB] If this team continues its excellent start and goes on to win promotion, we would need gates of 7,000-8,000 to compete in the top half of the league above so why not start practising that now.[LNB] Mitchell confirmed the club had not been given permission to pay its current VAT and PAYE liability to HMRC but said sufficient funds were available to do so.[LNB] Meanwhile, Cherries will be holding their first £5,000 cash draw at half-time during the Rochdale match with tickets, priced at £5, on sale at the ground.[LNB]

Source: Bournemouth_Echo