Grosvenor supports HMRC petition against Portsmouth FC

Grosvenor Basingstoke Properties Ltd, part of the Grosvenor Group and the Duke’s company, claims it is owed rent on a shop in its Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke and intends to support the HMRC petition. Portsmouth is thought to be the guarantor for the tenant, which is an undisclosed retailer that has fallen into administration and therefore made the football club liable for the costs.

A spokesperson for Grosvenor said: “We can confirm Grosvenor Basingstoke Properties Ltd has joined the HMRC winding-up petition. We have no further comment on the details of the claim.”

Portsmouth, which is denying the claim, will face a hearing next week on a winding-up petition filed by HMRC, which is though to be owed £6m in tax. Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai became Portsmouth’s fourth owner of the football season yesterday after exercising a clause in an agreement that saw him lend £17m to the club. The financial turmoil has led to wages being paid late and Avram Grant, the manager, claiming that players have been sold behind his back.

Grosvenor made a pre-tax loss of £594m in 2008 amid rapid declines in property values as the economy slumped. The company controls a portfolio which includes large swathes of London’s Mayfair and Belgravia, as well as the new 43-acre Liverpool One development. The results for 2008 were Grosvenor’s worst for 16 years.

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