League One club must find £550k and quickly!
Sheffield Wednesday have been served a winding up order by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill.
The action by HMRC relates to an outstanding PAYE balance which amounts to £550,000.
The club, who remain confident that the outstanding debt can be paid, will appear at the High Court on 11 August.
A club spokesman said: “We have been involved in dialogue with HMRC for a number of weeks. As such, we are disappointed by their decision.”
He added: “Sheffield Wednesday would like to inform supporters their club is not about to be wound up.
“We understand that HMRC is taking a tougher line in general with football clubs, but feel their actions are disproportionate and will raise unnecessary speculation as to the financial situation of the club.
“We can inform supporters that the club, working in partnership with the Co-operative bank and their advisors, will seek to settle this matter as soon as practical.”
The Co-operative bank has also issued a statement: “It is disappointing to note that HMRC have presented a winding up order in respect to Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
“The Co-operative bank has been working extremely hard for some time with representatives of the football club and investors to explore ways to ensure its future stability.
“At present we are continuing to enter in to dialogue with our advisers, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and potential investors to explore solutions which will allow the club to operate on a sound and secure financial footing for the future.”
The Owls, who were relegated to League One last season, were involved in takeover talks in January with Chicago-based investment company Club 9 Sports, but no agreement between the two parties was made. (BBC Sport)
Having suffered the ignominy of relegation to League One it seems that Sheffield Wednesday have some very real financial problems to deal with that they will have to hope do not lead the club into administration and the points penalty that comes with it, such a punishment would of course potentially derail any hopes of a swift return to the Championship.
Clearly takeover talks held in January will not have been helped by the footballing problems on the pitch and investing in a League One side is far less attractive than a club in the second tier of the game. Alan Irvine will be looking to keep hold of as many of his side as possible and would have hoped for funds to re-invest in his Hillsborough squad, those plans may well be scuppered by this winding up order.