HMRC loses patience with Portsmouth FC

Portsmouth Football Club has not been enjoying the best of fortunes over the last couple of years, as some accountants will no doubt be aware.

In 2010, the club became the first in the Premier League to go into administration. Now, HMRC has issued a winding up order after the club failed to pay £1.6 million in overdue taxes.

A spokesman for the Revenue said football clubs have the same obligation to pay their taxes as all other businesses have.

Whilst Portsmouth does not have significant debts, it suffers from a cash flow problem and could be liquidated as a result of the winding-up order.

Andrew Andronilou from UHY Hacker Young, one of the joint-administrators, explained that the club did not have the funds to settle PAYE bills of £800,000 in both December and January. Portsmouth was given seven working days in which to respond to the winding up petition.

Last November, Vladimir Antonov, the Russian businessman who owns Convers Sports Initiatives, the parent company of Portsmouth FC, was arrested in connection with money laundering and fraud in Lithuania.

Furthermore, former club manager, Harry Redknapp, and 73-year-old former chairman Milan Mandaric, are currently in trouble for suspected tax evasion.

Last week, Sothwark Crown Court was told that Redknapp managed to keep his offshore bank account in Monaco hidden from his bank for nearly six years and from his accountant for more than four years.

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