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Cherries: Mitchell confirms tax debt is cleared
Published : 25 Mar 2010 07:00:00
CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell last night confirmed Cherries had moved to clear their tax bill and then revealed that a fresh bid to beat the transfer embargo had been launched. The Dean Court chief reported that Cherries had sent around £350,000 to HM Revenue and Customs in order to satisfy the club's outstanding tax liabilities. That means the HMRC winding-up petition due to be heard in court next week over arrears of £314,000 should be thrown out, meaning Cherries could now stand a chance of finally seeing the back of their long-running ban on new signings, imposed by the Football League. Speaking exclusively to the Echo last night, Mitchell said: We have sent the money to the tax man and it should bring us bang up to date with the tax. We are now approaching the Football League to try to get the embargo lifted by noon tomorrow to try to strengthen for the last nine games of the season. We're already talking to the league, to try to coincide with the revenue talking to them, to try to take it further forward, so we can move it on and get the embargo removed. Asked whether fans could look forward to Cherries recruiting loan players, Mitchell said: That's what we're working on. But the main issue was to clear the debt we owed to the revenue and it was something that needed to be done. Fortunately, we have been able to work hard enough to get it done. My belief is that the tax debt and forecasting where we are going to go for the remainder of the season and next season was what was holding the club back, and those have been provided now. Should the league grant Cherries permission to bolster Eddie Howe's squad with loan signings, they would have until 5pm today to finalise any deals before the emergency loan window slams shut. When quizzed on where the funds had come from, Mitchell said: I've raised the investment that was needed. I don't really want to confirm any more than that, other than the fact we've sent the tax man that money. It's really come from the support I've been shown since I've been at the club because if I hadn't been shown that, I wouldn't have been able to raise it. That's one of the most important factors. I'm working hard for the club and I have secured an investment in the club to clear the debt that's as much as I can really say. Delivering a message to Cherries' fans, Mitchell added: I thank them for the support they have given me to help me get the investment. They have played as big a part as I have in supporting me to have the enthusiasm and energy to raise the investment. From our fans' forums and VIP forums, everyone has given me the encouragement to find a way forward. I'm steering the ship and have found a way forward my thanks go to them for rowing so hard. We're all in this together. The aim now is to keep it (the finances) within a manageable situation, but if the fans don't turn up we can't do that. Wouldn't it be nice to start that on Saturday with a large gate, supporting Eddie Howe, who is working hard. The club raised around £300,000 through an early season ticket sales drive in the new year, while the controversial AFC Bournemouth Dedication Scheme had, by last Saturday, brought in around £7,000. Cherries have been under a strict transfer embargo for more than a year and the ban ruined Howe's hopes of signing the likes of Steve Lovell and Charlie Austin during the summer.