The winding-up petition filed by HM Revenue and Customs against Southend United has been adjourned until January 18.
On Wednesday morning, the National League club returned to the High Court to discuss the outstanding payment. Following a brief hearing, the club can report that the HMRC winding up petition has been postponed, according to a statement from support group Shrimpers Trust. The High Court’s decision on Wednesday, according to the Shrimpers Trust, “amounts to a stay of execution.” Roots Hall will continue to be under a black shadow as a result of Wednesday’s judgement, according to the Trust.
Need a second opinion on your insolvency litigation? Our specialist solicitors & barristers can help by assessing your case prospects and whether a winding-up petition is the right tool. We have highly experienced dual-qualified lawyers, so if our view is your case has limited merit or high risk we can advise you of the best strategy in our first meeting.
Southend United On and Off the Field
Southend, who were relegated from League Two in 2021, are sixth in the National League table after a 2-2 draw with leaders Notts County on Tuesday, going 10 games without defeat.
In a letter to the public published at the beginning of October, Southend chairman Ron Martin said that the club had fallen behind on a payment required by its time-to-pay arrangement (TTP) an agreement that allows debt to be paid back in monthly instalments – with HMRC.
As a result, the agreement was terminated, which sparked the winding-up petition and anger among supporters.
The Shrimpers Trust has expressed their dissatisfaction with how the club is still governed by chairman Ron Martin since issues off the field continue to be a major concern. According to a Trust statement, while progress on the field in 2022–23 has exceeded many supporters’ expectations following a challenging start to life in the National League last season, it is disappointing that the hard work undertaken continues to be undermined by financial problems off the pitch.
According to the Trust, “Club Chair Ron Martin has less than two months to follow through on his promise to the authorities and deliver in the same manner as the hiring team, the coaching staff, the players, and the unsung heroes in the background have continued to do throughout a trying time”
“But the dream will remain just that if there is no football club in Southend-on-Sea for us to unite behind. We expect better from the club chair; no more excuses, no more delays. Own your responsibility and sort out the mess that threatens the very existence of Southend United FC”.
How Can We Help you Oppose a Winding Up Petition?
Our specialist winding-up petition lawyers are experts in defending winding-up petitions. We can advise you as to the specific merits and demerits of your case and can assist you in opposing winding up petitions and negotiating with creditors. If your company has been issued a winding-up petition or statutory demand, you may be able to 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).
To oppose a winding-up petition, you will initially need to file a witness statement in opposition with the Court within 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). A copy of that witness statement will need to be provided to the petitioning creditor at least five business days before the hearing.
Your company is entitled to appear at the petition hearing so as to oppose the making of a winding-up order. It is a routine matter for companies to instruct solicitors and/or barristers to appear on their behalf at the hearing.
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