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Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Blue Square South side Lewes settle tax debts


Lewes have secured their short-term future with a £47,000 payment to HM Revenue & Customs.

The Blue Square South club's winding-up order at the High Court on Wednesday is now expected to be a formality.

Manager Steve Ibbitson told BBC Sussex: "It's a very big hurdle once we've got over this one but there are a number of others we've got to get over.

"It's not the end of the problems but it's a very big one to hopefully get out of the way."

He continued: "I've got to say I'd hoped to feel delighted but at the moment I just feel drained.

"The last four or five days, myself and a number of other people have been almost permanently on the phone trying to make sure we've in a position to clear this debt.

"It's been done with a mixture of donations and a couple of longer-term interest-free loans mainly from people who've helped the club in the past and benefactors and a couple of new people who've moved into the area over the last year or so, have been coming to games, and have made themselves known to us and said they would like to help in some way or other.

"It's a very big thank you to those people who've put up donations or very generous longer-term loans so we can get out of this position.

"Also, supporters and a lot of people at Lewes who might not be in a position to donate at the moment but who give up a lot of time and effort to help."

With the club 20th in the Blue Square South, just two points adrift of safety, Ibbitson is hopeful he can avoid a second successive relegation at the Dripping Pan.

He said: "The bonus would be if we can stay up as well.

The management committee and my coaching staff and I didn't want to be in charge at the club when taking it into liquidation

Manager Steve Ibbitson

"The club has worked hard to get to their position they're in and we'll only give it up with a tremendous battle and I'm hoping we won't do that and we will stay up because, if we can, we've got a lot of very good young players who - for another year in this league - will be a year stronger next year.

"If we can keep hold of most of the players we've got and just strengthen in some areas then we could push on and the club could have a bright future. There's a lot to do before that.

"The club is coming up to its 125th year next season, the management committee and my coaching staff and I didn't want to be in charge at the club when taking it into liquidation.

"We've all worked as hard as we can to make sure that didn't happen. It's been a tremendous team effort."

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see also
Court grants Lewes new lifeline
25 Nov 09 |  Non League
Lewes claim first win since April
26 Oct 09 |  Non League
Lewes given winding-up reprieve
02 Sep 09 |  Non League
Lewes not entering administration
25 Mar 09 |  Lewes
Lewes on brink of administration
12 Dec 08 |  Lewes
Lewes welcome new consortium bid
26 Nov 08 |  Lewes
Struggling Lewes put up for sale
05 Nov 08 |  Lewes

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