Sheffield Wednesday have received a winding-up order from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs following an unpaid tax bill. The Owls owe £550,00 relating to an unsettled PAYE balance and are scheduled to attend the High Court on Wednesday August 11th.
The case confirms that the taxman’s increasingly hardline approach to football clubs’ tax debts is set to continue for the foreseeable future. In the past the Football Creditors Rule meant that clubs in financial strife had to pay players and other clubs before the HMRC, other businesses, or charities got their cut.
However, the Owls claimed to have been in dialogue with HMRC for some time and were critical of the decision to serve a winding-up notice. “We have been involved in dialogue with HMRC for a number of weeks. As such, we are disappointed by their decision,” said a spokesperson from the club.
“Sheffield Wednesday would like to inform supporters their club is not about to be wound up. We understand that HMRC is taking a tougher line in general with football clubs, but feel their actions are disproportionate and will raise unnecessary speculation as to the financial situation of the club.
The Yorkshire club said it was working in partnership with the Co-operative Bank and financial advisers to attract new investors and settle its differences with HMRC. Wednesday’s 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace on the final day of last season condemned the Hillsborough club to League One football. A win would have secured the club’s Championship status at Palace’s expense.
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