Judge blocks Cherries' attempted payment to tax man

22 October 2009 07:00
Cherries have mysteriously been thwarted in their attempts to make a payment to HM Revenue & Customs the organisation which is threatening to have the club wound up.

The Dorset outfit was last week hoping to settle an outstanding bill to the tax man, only for the High Court in London to block the payment.

Cherries bank account has been frozen ever since HMRC was obligated to re-publish details of a winding-up petition in the London Gazette at the end of last month.

And as a consequence, club solicitors have been forced to approach the court with a validation application a request to release funds every time they wish to pay a bill.

However, even though HMRC is the clubs most pressing creditor, Cherries bid to satisfy its current VAT and PAYE liabilities was vetoed by the court.

It is understood the sum involved was around £150,000 and is due to be paid by the end of this week. Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell insists the funds are available.

Mitchell told the Daily Echo last night: We have spent £11,000 trying to unfreeze the bank account so we can pay certain parties, as and when their debts fall due.

We have put certain companies in front of the judge which we want to pay, but, ironically, we were not given the go-ahead to pay HMRC, which seems strange.

Asked whether the club had been given a reason, Mitchell replied: No, not really. But we are going back to the court to try to arrange payment. Although they wont let us pay, we have got the funds.

This is causing us extra expense which could go towards clearing our debts. They are dictating who we can and cant pay and, at this moment in time, we cant pay the very organisation which is petitioning to have the club wound up.

When contacted by the Daily Echo yesterday, a spokesperson for the Judicial Communications Office, said: We cant go into detail but a number of applications to pay debts were made. The judge went through the list and authorised those payments he felt were strictly necessary in the next few weeks.

Mitchell and the current Cherries board has been trying to eat into the clubs inherited debt mountain ever since the Murry Group completed its takeover in June.

Were working tirelessly to get the club back on an even keel and to where we can pay people, as and when we have got the money, added Mitchell. We will get there and although this is causing us extra work and extra cash, we will get over these hurdles.

Mitchell, who said the total indebtedness had reduced from just under £400,000 to £150,000 in the past five months, also confirmed all Football creditors had been satisfied after the club recently received a basic award payment from the Football League.

A basic award payment is made to every club in the Football League and is paid in several stages. Last season, the payment was £323,000.

Source: Bournemouth_Echo