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SBD Global/November 8, 2012/Finance

SPL Club Heart Of Midlothian FC Has Tax Debt Of $719,000

Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian FC "could become the second Scottish club to go to the wall this year" after it warned fans that it "might not survive the month in the wake of a winding-up order over a tax bill of almost £450,000 ($719,000)," according to Neil Gardner of the LONDON TIMES. The SPL club, founded in 1874, "issued a plea for 'emergency backing'" after confirming action by the U.K. tax authority HMRC at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The club said that it was "attempting to negotiate a payment plan with the tax authority over the matter" but warned that this was not a "bluff" or "scaremongering" as it attempts to avoid the fate of Rangers, which were liquidated this summer. Despite earlier attempting to calm supporters’ fears, it later asked supporters to find the money to see the club through the crisis in an appeal described as "not so much a request as a necessity" (LONDON TIMES, 11/7). The SCOTSMAN reported that "the news came as it emerged that a petition by the tax authority was presented to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to place the SPL club into liquidation earlier this month." The Tynecastle club is understood to be facing the action from HMRC over unpaid pay-as-you-earn tax (PAYE) and National Insurance dating back several months, "which is separate from their ongoing troubles with the tax authority" (SCOTSMAN, 11/7).
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