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Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 21:38 UK

Accrington face winding-up order

Accrington Stanley

Accrington Stanley have been issued with a winding-up order by HM Revenue and Customs over unpaid debts, but remain hopeful they will survive.

The League Two club will have a hearing in the High Court on 10 June.

Chairman Eric Whalley told BBC Radio Lancashire: "We have known about this and sought help and I'm 99% sure that we'll still be here next year.

"Hopefully next season we can kick on and the fans continue to keep the faith and we'll be ok."

The club owe around £300,000 in unpaid tax and national insurance and claim it is a result of dropped income levels because of dwindling crowds.

But Whalley is confident they will not suffer a similar fate to they last time they encountered financial problems.


Stanley resigned from the Football League in 1962 after owing around £60,000, returning 44 years later after reforming and climb up then non-league pyramid to win promotion in 2006.

"I've spoken to our local MP Greg Pope and he's hopeful when he meets the minister in charge of the Inland Revenue we can come to some arrangement to pay off the debt," said Whalley.

"At the start of last season we did a deal with Inland Revenue to pay off the longstanding debt. But our sponsors pulled out and the Football League wouldn't give us any dispensation to bring our ground up to standard.

"As everybody knows we have the worst facilities in the league, get the smallest crowds and I feel every time we speak to somebody in the league they don't seem bothered.

"It's not their fault we're in this position but we have to adhere to the rules."

The club's average attendance has dropped from 2,260 in their first season back in league football to just 1,415 for the season just gone, the lowest of all the 92 clubs.

Stanley also failed to get dispensation from the League to postpone having to install an additional 1,000 seats at a cost of £60,000.

And they were hit by the collapse of their main sponsor Fraser Eagle midway through the season, with well over £100,000 owing to the club.

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