Bolton Wanderers win extra-time to avoid HMRC winding up penalty

BOLTON WANDERERS, the Championship football club has won a stay of execution after the High Court granted an adjournment to the winding up petition presented by HMRC.

The High Court has given the club until February 22 to either close a deal with one of the potential buyers of the club or raise sufficient short-term funds from asset sales. The move will enable the club – currently bottom of the Sky Bet Championship – to trade and make payments on the debts owed to HMRC and other creditors.

It is understood that the club owes HM Revenue & Customs some £600,000 in unpaid PAYE and VAT. It is also believed to have debts totalling £173m.

Over the next month, the club will have to find and implement a longer term solution to its financial woes in order to prevent the taxman from winding up the club at the adjourned hearing.

Trevor Birch, adviser to the owner and board at Bolton Wanderers, said: “HMRC takes a very strict approach towards football clubs. Despite the club putting forward a solution, utilising funds generated from its assets that would have enabled repayment of its debt in full over a period of a few months, HMRC refused to agree to an adjournment to give effect to the plan.

“With that in mind, it is pleasing that the High Court rejected its wish to liquidate the club and that it has given the club time either to raise funds and or conclude a sale.”

A number of parties are said to be interested in a takeover of the business, according to reports, with former players Dean Holdwsorth and Stelios Giannakopolous linked to potential bids.

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