HMRC loses against Pompey

High Court rules in favour of Pompey; no HMRC appeal

Last updated: 6th August 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed


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Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has lost its High Court judgement against cash-strapped Championship club Portsmouth.

The tax office, which has since said that it will not appeal, was attempting to block proposals to help the Fratton Park side out of administration.

HMRC was seeking an order which would block a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) put together by the club's administrators.

But the High Court has ruled in favour of the administrators, with Mr Justice Mann saying: "I propose to find in favour of the company administrators and dismiss the application of HMRC."

No appeal

Pompey chief executive David Lampitt told his club's official website: "We're delighted and relieved at the outcome announced today in the High Court.

"We will wait to see the detailed findings and whether HMRC decide to appeal.

"However, it's obviously a massive step forward in the process towards getting this great club back on its feet.

"I would like to give my personal thanks to all those who have supported us through this difficult period, in particular our fans, commercial partners and Portsmouth City Council.

"The result is a huge relief to the staff here whose loyalty has been unswerving and whose hard work has held the club together."

HMRC said later in a statement: "HMRC is naturally disappointed not to have won this appeal and we can confirm that we do not intend to appeal.

"Our aim when pursuing debt of any kind is to achieve a fair outcome for the taxpayer and we will take this forward in the wider context of the football industry through separate and outstanding legal proceedings over the status of the so-called Football Creditors Rule.

"This is an important and complex judgment and until we have had the opportunity to study it in detail we can't comment further."

Comments (57)

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Aaron Martin (Hull City fan) says...

A Great day for Pompy to finially get this behind then, get the CVA underway and actually start to sign much needed players and once this is all sorted they can sell players for a price thats acceptable and not for below market prices everyone seems to be offering them. However on a flip side to this HMRC should have won this case, the fact of the matter is who ever was running the finiances at Pompy needs shooting! HMRC may have looked like bad guys in all this but the fact is they were fighting for integrity on the tax services, if i didn''t pay my tax''s im sure the tax man would hunt me down too, HMRC simply set out to prove a point as the barrister for HMRC said "its not about the money its about the priciple of the matter" and he was right pompy should be punished for lack of tax paying and should have some very strict restrictions put on finances, pompy have a smallish stadium, which costs alot to run because its so old, so something needs to be done to ensure they are not spending 150% of the gate reciepts on wages before even paying the rest of the bills. But Good luck pompy as a resident of this fine town i loo forward to following the season closely but hopefully not looking at u from below u in the table

Posted 03:35 6th August 2010

Martin Reilly (Portsmouth fan) says...

I am Portsmouth through and through and of course I am overjoyed that we can now start to rebuild our great football club. However, I do hope that legislation changes so that no other supporters have to go through a similar situation in future. The way our proud tradition has been tarnished will be difficult to recover from, but recover we will. I wish the HRMC every success in any future case they undertake as I believe the football creditors rule is wrong. I also want legal proceeding to take place against all of the parasites that have striped the flesh from our bones. Everyone knows the list of people responsible for the bad management that led the administration. They shouldn''t be able to walk away with our capital and use it to start a virus elsewhere. All of football has to change and make sure all clubs are run by fit and proper people. I am so proud that Pompey have got through this, but I am ashamed of the action of a few. The taxman should be paid first in full and then the other creditors should accept what''s left. I understand why other supporters feel cheated, because believe me we feel the same and more. I ask for some solidarity between all clubs and ask you not to judge our football club too harshly. We should all blame the fat cats who are turning our beautiful game into an ugly one. We just need to clear the decks, load the cannons and set sail for future victory. PLAY (at least we can now) UP (one day just maybe) POMPEY (till I die)

Posted 02:56 6th August 2010

Karlos Irons (West Ham United fan) says...

Living in Portsmouth, you only have to look around for a matter of seconds to see what this club means to the city. No matter where you are from, you wouldn''t want any club to be wound up/liquidated/thrown to the wolves just because of the bad management of the past. Shouldn''t it be those individuals who are made to pay, purely for letting a club getting in such a mess? At the end of the day you don''t want to see the fans to suffer. Just think if it was your club? To the Liverpool, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham and scummer fans etc. who are bad-mouthing in this post, I bet you would be defending your club to the bone if you were in same position. The public always takes it out on the people who didn''t make the mistakes. Blame the previous owners, and support the team! Play up Pompey! All the best to you!

Posted 02:22 6th August 2010

Tim Doolan (West Ham United fan) says...

just a little team living the dream and i know how that feels. make the guys in suits responsible not the football club. that, if nothing else belongs to the fans. pompey deserves it survival because of its 25000 loyals, we are opponents but brothers in arms...saints who would you hate if there was no pompey? you would soon miss them! we almost did liverpool in the cup final. ..... was worth the over investment for one glorious day. long live football and the REAL clubs!

Posted 01:41 6th August 2010

Tony Ormston (Portsmouth fan) says...

number one to the spurs fan who said we should be punished for what we did you have the same manager who managed pompey so whatch out (i will be at this club for life ) took a back hander then left it will happen again you mark my words number two to the team down the road just you remember the score when we played you twice FORE ONE SOUR GRAPES COME TO MIND PLAY UP POMPEY

Posted 01:02 6th August 2010

Tony Freeman (Arsenal fan) says...

My dear old dad came from Northend Portsmouth and was a big fan of Pompey. Sad to see such a great club with unbelievable supporters going through one nightmare after another. Good luck to the club and hopefully this latest good news will start a trend.

Posted 00:09 6th August 2010

Alan Pickering (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

Noone seems to remember that Gaydamak spent his own money bringing in the super stars and everyone thought he was another rich daddy. My reading of the last two years is - rich super dad buys in stars - then he decides money spent was just a loan and club owes him - he then announces he''ll spend no more money - banks et all then want immediate repayment of debts - Pompey have to firesale off all stars to pay what they can of debts. I''d like someone to suggest what other team could survive a similar rug pulling by an owner and the banks? I think you''ll find it was a single playboy who bought success no the club and that he''s really the one to blame for any dogdy tax evasion etc.

Posted 00:07 6th August 2010

Andrew Gibbs (Liverpool fan) says...

at the end of the day pompey fans and the rest of the footie fans HMRC is to any ordinary business a prefered creditor but in football it isnt you do know its the countries money that is at stake !!!!!!! instead the bunch of over paid workers come before the country GET REAL bet this dont get posted due to the fact its supporting hmrc YNWA

Posted 23:36 5th August 2010

Matt J (Portsmouth fan) says...

to all those fans out there who think pompey are a complete shambles of a club, it was the people high up. storie, SAF, sacha gaydamac etc. these people that have nearly ruined such an important local club as it is to the city of portsmouth. the club helps so many people in the city through its schemes and boosts the economy, and has created jobs for people. the fans are not to blame, the corperate people high who don''t have half a brain to run a football club should take the wrap. 112 years of history intact, and a great community and family club is still alive. Pompey till I die. play up pompey.

Posted 23:23 5th August 2010

Gaz Johnson (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

a fantastic outcome for the neutral supporter, i hate it when clubs are wound up not good for the sport or the supporters of that club. lets just hope they get a bloke in charge who can properly run the club and get them on a decent but fair level, instead of spending money they dont have.

Posted 23:13 5th August 2010

Yaz Skinner (Liverpool fan) says...

Those who critisise should be aware that the HMRC only took this case to court on Image rights. They have not tried it before, so beware the rest of you (including us). They never tried for it with other clubs, you may be next. A victory for footbaal, as HMRC need to get their house in order and not make an example of one club on a whim. Good luck Pomey hope you join us in the Prem again soon. Great fans.

Posted 23:07 5th August 2010

Nikki Webb (Portsmouth fan) says...

listen to this lot! never read such a lot of rubbish. Call yourselves football fans??? Today is a great day for portsmouth football supporters, those of us who travel and support our club week in and week out just like the rest of you. For any of you that bother to find out the facts you will know how and why we have ended up where we are.. run by a bunch of crooks for sure.. we the fans do not deserve to see our club wound up. They should punish the people that put the club in this position. Bradley (scummer) we lost our points like everyone else further points deduction is possible we have not been given any favours.. Gary (illiterate scummer) if you''re going to post in public learn to spell its their not there.. for all of you out there who think Pompey are the only club that have spent money they didnt have.. dream on there is worse to come

Posted 23:04 5th August 2010

Pete G (Portsmouth fan) says...

Predictable comments from the Soton ''fans''.The only people who would truly have been affected by the liquidation of Pompey are the players,the hard working staff,and loyal fans who have had to endure a torrid 12 months!!Those that have been responsible for this mess have scurried away and crawled back under their stones,no doubt with pockets bulging having syphoned off their bonuses!!These are the people that should be bought to book and punished for bringing a great club to its knees.

Posted 22:57 5th August 2010

Rob Main (Portsmouth fan) says...

Great result. Whilst I agree that we should pay for most of our debt the taxman was using Pompey to go for a tax on image rights. The right fight at the wrong battle, this should of been aimed at the Premier / Football League not at a club. The taxman wants to go for the image right tax with big clubs like Chelsea & Man U and thought by getting Pompey it would be open season on the whole of football.Yet again the clubs are made to suffer whilst those who created this mess walk away with no punishment.

Posted 22:57 5th August 2010

Lee Turnock (Portsmouth fan) says...

Think people need to get a grip of themselves, and stop casting stones in glass houses!! Pompey are not the first or only team to offset their tax for a later date. Pompey are not the only team who live beyond their means. Pompey are not the only team who the HMRC would have come for if they had won the battle on image rights and tax defaults. Clubs like Liverpool (who could still be a stones throw from administration themselves) will be breathing a huge sigh of relief, because lets not forget they are classed as a non-viable business at this time. Pompey were run (agreably) by chancers who bled the club dry. It is them that should be put in front of the firing squad not the club as an entity or the fans. Dry your eyes and realise that the win has saved other clubs in the long run. I''m delighted Pompey can go for a resurgance and hopefully this time with someone at the helm who has the clubs interest at heart. Tax payers should be looking at the big banks with their rising profits for a pound of flesh. Pompey is small change in comparrison!

Posted 22:53 5th August 2010

D R (Portsmouth fan) says...

I think it''s disgusting how these so called football fans can lash out at a club on it''s knees and call for it to be liquidated without a single thought for the innocent fans who have supported the club all their lives and through no fault of their own have seen their beloved club mismanaged by a series of cowboys and brought to the brink of destruction. If the club was shut down it would be the fans who would suffer the most and that is simply NOT fair. If it was your club in this position would you still be calling for it to be put out of business?! NO. So stop being so self righteous and spare a thought for your fellow football fans.

Posted 22:50 5th August 2010

David Mardlin (Portsmouth fan) says...

Everyone seems to think we brought the cup and they think thats why we got in to debt all this started a long time before this i am outraged at what happened with our club and the mess we got in. However the result today was the first win of our season to all those who think the fa cup win was our best moment i think there wrong last seasons fa cup run by far beat that we were the worst team in the prem league last season but we were the secound best in the fa cup i am proud to be a pompey fan. And steve cotterill you are saying all the right things keep going if you work a miracle this season you could even top avram. Steve cotterils blue white army pupppu

Posted 22:47 5th August 2010

Cliff Evans (Portsmouth fan) says...

Glad it''s all over, first thing, everyone is saying we deserve to go down, and pay up, what about the loyal fans do we deserve to lose our football team because we had some fakes come in and try and buy us, Ilove the sport of football and wouldn''t want any team to get wound up, so come on guys give us a little bit of support, there are a lot more people out there ripping off the tax man. PLAY UP POMPEY

Posted 22:47 5th August 2010

Paul Wells (Portsmouth fan) says...

And so all the negative comments from the individuals who "support" Southampton , no malice eh? True it is a sham and the people to blame will never be brought to justice,just to white hart lane maybe? Storie and co should be hung drawn and quartered.Simple.

Posted 22:38 5th August 2010

Sean C (Arsenal fan) says...

great news for Pompey and the fans! Stop moaning Saints fans. Sour grapes lol

Posted 22:26 5th August 2010

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