In a statement released today, Notts County has revealed they have been issued with a winding-up petition by HMRC over unpaid tax.
The Magpies are currently languishing at the bottom of the EFL, five points from safety and two places below Port Vale, who they entertain at Meadow Lane on Saturday in a crucial relegation clash.
Notts County have received assurances from Paragon Interiors’ administrators that they are supportive of Owner and Chairman Alan Hardy’s attempts to sell the club. https://t.co/XRxTQhORqx
— Notts County FC (@Official_NCFC) February 28, 2019
In the statement, the club said it was in an ‘ongoing dialogue’ with HMRC over payments due. The court date for the winding up petition is 10 April.
The statement said: ‘Club representatives have been in detailed discussions with HMRC officials since a payment became due just three weeks ago.’
‘The club offered a payment plan starting on 21 February to clear the debt in full over a four-week period.’
‘However, HMRC have taken what Notts County consider to be an extremely aggressive approach, which has seen HMRC issue a winding-up petition against the club.’
‘As a result, this winding up petition has now been listed.’
‘Supporters are assured that the matter will be settled in good time.’
The news comes after the revelation that owner and chairman Alan Hardy’s interior design company Paragon Interiors had entered administration. The business employs about 90 people and has two offices, in Nottingham and Birmingham. For 2017, the firm’s turnover stood at £62 million, but it reported an overall loss of £291,000.
Sky Sports reported on Monday that Hardy borrowed £7 million from Paragon to buy Notts County in January 2017. He put the club up for sale last month after posting an inappropriate picture on his Twitter account.
The Club said in the statement that they had received assurances from the from Paragon Interiors’ administrators that they are supportive of Hardy’s attempts to sell the club.
The news of a winding-up petition is the last thing Notts County fans needed to hear, but after recent rumours regarding Hardy’s precarious financial position, it probably comes as little surprise.
They can only hope that a buyer can be found with less ego and more common sense than the current steward of the great old club.
It is a sorry state of affairs which calls into question not only the EFL’s policy on club owners but also its rules on the funding of lower league clubs.
Clubs need to be sustainable in the long term and Hardy’s undoubted investment in the club has proven to be built on the flimsiest of foundations.