The football club Macclesfield Town has been wound by the Insolvency and Companies Court as a result of debts totalling more than £500,000. Judge Sebastian Prentis made the winding up order during a remote hearing in the specialist Insolvency and Companies Court after being informed that the club owed its creditors over £500,000, including nearly £190,000 in taxes and more than £170,000 to two other creditors, including the club’s former manager John Askey.
We are leading experts specialising in insolvency proceedings. Our experienced City of London solicitors and barristers regularly assist companies facing a HMRC winding up petition; individuals served a statutory demand; or creditors owed money and considering issuing a winding up petition.
Who issued the Petition?
The Petition was issued by HMRC in relation to taxes allegedly owed by Macclesfield Town FC in the sum of £190,000. Our experienced City of London solicitors and barristers regularly assist companies facing a HMRC winding up petition and it is now more important than ever to seek legal advice as soon as possible, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why did the Judge make a winding-up order?
The winding-up petition, which had been adjourned for a 12th time prior to this hearing was initially presented in January 2019. Judge Prentis took these adjournments into consideration and stated that the winding up petition had been presented ‘as long ago’ as early 2019 and that ‘there have been a number of adjournments of this petition.’
It is understood that Macclesfield Town FC’s solicitors provided the Judge with a screenshot of the football club’s bank statement which showed funds in the sum of £1.1m. In usual circumstances, a Judge will take the funds available in the debtor’s bank account into consideration in order to establish if the debtor is able to pay its debts as they fall due. However, given the number of adjournments previously granted in this case, the Judge noted the football club’s bank balance and stated that, ‘I can see nothing that gives me any comfort that this club can pay its debts within a reasonable period.’ He went on to say that that the football club had failed to clarify and explain where the £1.1m had come from or why the outstanding debts had not already been paid.
The Judge also noted that a business plan from the football club had not been put forward to the Court and that there had been “ample opportunity” for the football club to pay off its creditors.
How can we help you oppose a winding up petition?
As a leading law firm with a track record of success, you can be assured that your matter is in safe hands. Our success rate is a result of the dedication of our lawyers who will diligently review your matter so it has the best possible chance of success from the outset when it matters the most.
If your company is concerned about a winding-up petition or statutory demand from a commercial landlord your company can potentially challenge that petition on the following grounds:
- That the debt alleged in the statutory demand or petition to be owing is genuinely disputed on substantial grounds by your company;
- Your company has a genuine right of set-off against the creditor that exceeds the amount claimed in the statutory demand; or
- In certain other limited circumstances (for example such as jurisdiction, technical or procedural error or delay).
In order to oppose a winding-up petition, you would need to file a witness statement in opposition with the Court no fewer than five business days before the date when the petition will be heard by the Court (rule 7.16 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016). You would also need to provide a copy of that witness statement to the petitioning creditor at least five business days before the hearing.
Your company is entitled to appear at the petition hearing and to oppose the making of a winding-up order. It is usual for companies to instruct solicitors and/or barristers to appear on their behalf at the petition hearing.
Instruct Specialist Insolvency Lawyers
We provide a no cost initial case review to establish whether or not we can help you. We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers and based in the Middle Temple Inn of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. We are experts in dealing with matters surrounding insolvency in particular issues. Our team have unparalleled experience at serving statutory demands, negotiating with debtors/creditors, setting aside statutory demands and both issuing and defending winding up petitions vigorously at the Royal Courts of Justice (Rolls Building), or the relevant High Court District Registry or County Court with jurisdiction under the Insolvency Rules.