It should not have come as a shock to Sheffield Wednesday fans to find their club are heading back to the High Court. The experience of Southend United last season was that once HMRC gets its claws into a football club, it won't let go until they are paying their taxes regularly and on time.
After being bailed out earlier this month, at the last minute by the Co-Operative Bank - Wednesday's biggest creditor by far - the League One side have almost immediately knocked up £600,000 worth of tax arrears again, and so HMRC have issued their third winding up order on the Owls in three months. The latest petition will be heard on November 17th.
Last month's bail-out went down to the wire with the Co-Op Bank handing over an additional £780,000 as an extension of Wednesday's overdraft facility, but the general vibe was that this was their last gift to the club, and that they expected the Yorkshire club to find investment from elsewhere for any future financial issues, with the Co-Op's overdraft having reached in the region of £25 million.
Wednesday's Chief Executive Nick Parker has again said that matters are all in hand, suggesting that an overseas oil company have offered to loan £600,000 to the Owls - the exact sum of money that HMRC are demanding. But there's no clear firm commitment to do so yet, and as with the earlier Co-Op bailout, until Wednesday start balancing their books on a monthly basis, or bring in investors willing to underwrite their outgoings, every month is going to be like Groundhog Month for the Owls from now on. Until of course, even the High Court loses patience with them.
Link: 08/09/2010 : Owls Get Bailed Out By Their Bank.
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