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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Friday, 18 February 2011

Southend United face new winding-up petition

Southend United

Southend United are facing another winding-up petition for unpaid taxes.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is taking the Blues to the High Court on 16 March for arrears believed to be in the region of £20,000.

Southend chief executive Tara Brady told BBC Essex: "I am confident this won't get as far as the High Court as with are dealing with the matter now."

The club spent the summer settling two separate debts in the courts, which were dealt with in August.

Club chairman Ron Martin had previously said there was an agreement in place with HMRC to pay their taxes on the 19th of each month.

Brady added: "We did miss a payment to HMRC but I would stress it's for a nominal fee.

"Cash flow was tight and there were other priorities which included paying players, staff and insurances.

We only ever take winding-up proceedings as a last resort

HMRC statement

"At this stage we are not under a transfer embargo."

A statement from HMRC read: "HMRC remains absolutely committed to demonstrating a sympathetic approach to businesses that have genuine short-term difficulties in paying the tax they owe.

"However HMRC expect those who can pay to do so, in full and on time to make sure that the money is there to fund the UK's vital public services.

"We only ever take winding-up proceedings as a last resort."

In August Southend avoided entering administration after reaching a deal with HMRC over unpaid taxes.

Later that month the Shrimpers staved off a winding-up petition from Charterhouse Commercial Finance Plc who were owed £140,000, which the club paid.

The disputes meant the club was placed under a transfer embargo for most of pre-season.

Southend also avoided going into administration in November 2009 when it paid off £690,000 of arrears to HMRC.

Brady told BBC Essex in January the club was losing a "painful" £100,000 a month.

The news comes two days after the club secured backing from Southend Council to build their proposed stadium at Fossetts Farm across separate phases, should it choose to.

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see also
Southend to build phased stadium
17 Feb 11 |  Essex
Southend suffer 'painful' losses
20 Jan 11 |  Southend
Southend survive winding-up bid
11 Aug 10 |  Southend
Southend stave off administration
02 Aug 10 |  Southend
Southend hold off administration
04 Nov 09 |  Southend

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