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Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Cardiff City given deadline to settle 2m tax bill

Cardiff City

Cardiff City have been given one last chance by the High Court to settle an outstanding tax bill.

The Championship club were facing their third winding-up order on Wednesday over a £1.9m debt to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Cardiff hope to raise an estimated £2.25m from the sale of two plots of land around the Cardiff City Stadium.

A deadline of 5 May, three days after the final game of the regular season, has now been set to fully pay the debt.

Counsel Matthew Smith for HMRC had argued that the club should be wound up immediately, saying that it is "plainly insolvent".

The second winding-up order in the High Court was adjourned for 28 days in February after Cardiff paid £1m towards the tax bill, which then stood at £2.7m.

We are confident that these funds are coming in

Cardiff City representative Elaine Palser

Half of the remaining £1.7m was paid on Tuesday, leaving £850,000. However, the HMRC counsel said club the payment was only possible after the club had defaulted on its ongoing obligations to pay PAYE and VAT.

Consequently, the total debt now stands at £1.9m.

Cardiff representative, Elaine Palser, argued the club was solvent and that an Asian businessman, who has already invested £500,000 into the club, "has indicated he will give it £6million".

"We are confident that these funds are coming in," she said. "This is not an insolvent company. There is £36m of net assets, and the players are worth about £30m."

Granting one last adjournment of the hearing, the Registrar said: "On the face of it this company is not able to pay its debts as they fall due.

"The only basis, I'm being told, on which there is a prospect of this being resolved is through a third-party investor, but there is no evidence before the court.


"However, I take note that it is only the second hearing. I will grant an adjournment for 56 days and that is for settlement in full."

Malaysian businessman Datuk Chan Tien Ghee was given a place on the Cardiff board in November after investing in the club.

His arrival came on the day that the club were given 70 days to settle the tax bill after facing the first winding-up order in the High Court.

Cardiff raised an estimated £1m in their FA Cup run which was ended by holders and Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round.

And a further £3m was raised from advance season tickets sales for next season.

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale, who made no comment after Wednesday's court appearance, had initially promised that those funds would be spent on buying new players in the January transfer window.

But the money was eaten up to pay the debt, and Ridsdale was forced to apologise to fans over the whole affair.

Around 2,000 supporters, carrying banners and a coffin, held a march ahead of Cardiff City's home win over Middlesbrough on Saturday protesting about Ridsdale's running of the club.

Cardiff are effectively up for sale and former Leeds United chairman Ridsdale had promised "new investment" into the club "soon".

The sale of land around the stadium promises to be another lifeline for the troubled club, but the High Court warned that the next case on 5 May would be marked "final".

Non-payment would result in the club being wound up and placed into administration.

Such a move would then see the club penalised with a 10-point deduction from the Football League.

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see also
Hundreds join Cardiff fans' march
06 Mar 10 |  Wales
Cardiff launch latest ticket deal
03 Mar 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff win land sale green light
24 Feb 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff winding-up order delayed
10 Feb 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff fans hold finance protest
30 Jan 10 |  Wales
Supporters will get EGM - Borley
29 Jan 10 |  Cardiff
Supporters reject Cardiff apology
29 Jan 10 |  Cardiff
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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