League Two sides Notts County and Bury have both survived action in the High Court today, that proposed a Winding Up Order that could have put both clubs into administration. Both clubs have had action taken by HMRC (aka the Taxman) for failure to pay company taxes on time, with each club having yet to settle their debts at this stage.
Notts County have been given an eight week adjournment, on the basis that they have agreed a sale of their club to an unnamed party, and that provided that takeover completes, their new owner will settle the tax bill, reported as being in excess of £200,000. Current owner Alan Hardy has agreed the sale after his own non-football company Paragon Interiors went into administration - something that could eventually impact on Notts County given that they owe in the region of £7 million to the company, which Hardy no longer has control of.
The Magpies will be back in Court on June 5th, with reports that they would go into administration if the debts are not settled by that point. Whilst that would incur an automatic 12 point deduction, if it happens, it would seem likely that would have to be carried into the 2019-20 season, due to the 2018-19 season being complete at that stage.
Meanwhile at the other end of the table, Bury are struggling with legacy issues. Having gone through a takeover process in December 2018, new Chairman Steve Dale has had to deal with a number of winding up orders, the latest of which was submitted by former Head Coach Chris Brass. The former Shakers defender had returned to Gigg Lane in December 2013, as Assistant Manager, but was given the Head Coach position in December 2016. Brass was sacked in February 2017, and in October 2018 took up the Head of Football Operations position at Wigan Athletic. He has been claiming for lost earnings following his dismissal under the previous ownership.
The amount owed to Brass hasn't been disclosed, but there is speculation it is in the region of £100,000. Reports state that Bury's new owner has come to an agreement with Brass, and whilst his name has not been dropped from the petition, reports are that the Shakers have agreed to pay him in full. However, the Winding Up Order has now been taken on by HMRC who are claiming £277,640 in unpaid taxes. There are five other creditors that have submitted their claims alongside the current petition, although it was confirmed that HMRC's claim was the largest value, hence their position as the lead petitioner.
Bury's Chairman has claimed that the club is 'safe', with the club given until May 15th to reappear at the High Court to confirm payment has been made, or that a schedule has been agreed. Even if Bury do default on this, it's unlikely that the EFL will be able to take any action against them during the 2018-19 season, given that the League Two Play-Off Schedule will already be in place. If they were to invoke a twelve point deduction after this date, and apply it to this season, then it would disrupt the set of teams featuring, meaning that again it's most likely that Bury's 2018-19 position will not be affected.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page