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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Thursday, 8 July 2010 17:19 UK

Southend United have 14 days to avoid administration

Southend United

Southend United have 14 days to avoid administration after an order brought by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

The Shrimpers have faced three insolvency proceedings in the last year and were in the High Court on Thursday over an unpaid tax bill of £238,710.

The club must now submit evidence that they are financially viable to avoid administration on 2 August.

They also face a winding-up petition next week from Charterhouse Commercial Finance over a £140,000 debt.

HMRC told the Court that Southend's history of defaulting on payments demonstrated they were insolvent.

They accused the football club of paying tax as an "optional extra" and said they "trade whilst insolvent and run up debts they simply cannot pay".

However, the club argued that they had paid all their previous bills, albeit late, and had cut £2m out of their running costs in the past 18 months.

Southend bosses added that they had reached an agreement with Sainsbury's, who plan to move into the club's Roots Hall ground if a move to a new stadium goes ahead.


The club claimed that the supermarket chain has agreed to fund any outstanding debt.

Southend's finance director, Nigel Brunning, also told the Court that they would be in line for a £186,000 payment, in instalments, from a sell-on clause in former midfielder Nicky Bailey's contract after he joined Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

However, no paperwork was provided to back-up the claims, so the club have been given 14 days to submit their evidence, before the hearing on 2 August.

At present the club are understood to have paid their latest tax bill to a third party, but due to a dispute with the HMRC over costs added to that bill, will not release the funds until an agreement is reached over when the extra amount will be paid.

Southend United have also pledged to settle the debt owed to Charterhouse Commercial Finance.

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see also
Southend face winding-up petition
01 Jul 10 |  Southend
Southend court hearing adjourned
10 Feb 10 |  Southend
Southend administration unlikely
07 Nov 09 |  Southend
Southend hold off administration
04 Nov 09 |  Southend
Administration looms for Southend
27 Oct 09 |  Southend

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