Winding-up order against Wrexham's Crusaders adjourned

image captionCrusaders chairman Ian Roberts did not rule out the possibility of administration

A winding-up petition against rugby league club Crusaders has been adjourned for a week amid confusion over whether it has paid its tax debts.

Matthew Smith, counsel for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, (HMRC) told the court other creditors supported the tax man's petition.

However, the High Court in London was also told the debts have been paid.

Meanwhile, at the same court in a separate case, rugby union club Cardiff RFC had a winding-up order dismissed.

If the Crusaders had been wound up, its affairs would have been effectively handed over to an official receiver, whose job is to ensure debts are paid off by selling any assets available and bringing business to a close.

HMRC counsel Mr Smith told the court an administration hearing was scheduled for next Friday.

Seven days

He asked the court registrar to adjourn the winding-up petition for seven days to await the outcome of that hearing.

However, a lawyer appearing on behalf of administrators said she had been told the petition debt had been paid and asked for the petition to be dismissed.

Mr Smith told then told the court he understood the debt was still due.

The registrar adjourned the case for seven days and will re-sit on 17 November.

Crusaders chairman Ian Roberts said he had no comment to make after the hearing.

When asked whether there was a likelihood of the club going into administration, he responded: "No comment".

In a statement, HMRC said: "HMRC does not take the decision to petition to wind up a company - be that a rugby or football club or any other enterprise - on the grounds of insolvency lightly."

It said there was little it could do "for a business whose viability is dependent on not paying the UK taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers with similar tax affairs".

In the Cardiff RFC case, HMRC counsel Mr Smith asked the registrar to formally dismiss the petition.

No details were given as to the size of the tax bill which prompted the order initially.

The club was ordered to pay the legal costs.

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