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Portsmouth moved a major step closer to becoming the first Premier League club to enter administration after the high court threw out their challenge against a winding-up petition which was served by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs before Christmas.

 

It means that within three weeks the 112 year old club could face liquidation and potential oblivion.

 

Separate talks between Portsmouth and the Premier League to lift the player registration ban are thought to have progressed, through the ban remained in place last week.

 

Portsmouth’s high court challenge stated that the Value Added Tax portion of its tax bill was too high by a total of £7.5 million but Mr Justice Neway was not convinced.

 

It seems almost certain that Portsmouth will appeal, ahead of the proposed 10th February date for the hearing of the petition.

 

However, HMRC are confident that the hearing will go ahead as scheduled.

 

One can only imagine that Mr Justice Neway was not impressed by the argument that the tax bill was £7.5m over the top.

 

Where were the expert witnesses?

 

This reflects on the chap sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison who actually presented evidence after being found guilty of defrauding HMRC of Value Added Tax only now to show that HMRC owed him tax.

 

TOO LATE, TOO LATE.

 

No doubt the appeal will be decided on whether or not he actually owes the tax.

 

Likewise, don’t go into the High Court and argue the bill is too high without expert evidence.

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