Portsmouth’s Bank Account Frozen Over Unpaid Tax Bill

January 31, 2012

Portsmouth’s bank accounts have been frozen as part of a winding-up order from British authorities over the Championship side’s failure to pay a £1.6 million tax bill, the club said Monday.

The move has left the club from England’s south coast, who won the FA Cup four years ago, unable to pay players and staff.

However, a statement on the club’s official website said they hoped this latest setback would be reversed by the weekend.

“Further to our recent update that a winding-up petition has been issued and publicised to Portsmouth Football Club, the club’s bank accounts have been frozen, which is the normal process in these circumstances,” the statement said.

“The club is now seeking a validation order from the court in order to have its bank accounts unfrozen so that staff wages and suppliers can be paid.

“This is expected to take a few days and once obtained this will allow our bank accounts to be reactivated.

“Based on our current information we expect this process to be completed by the end of the week and would like to thank all our staff, fans and suppliers for their ongoing support.”

News of the accounts freeze came while a London court continued to hear evidence in the tax evasion trial of former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric and ex-manager Harry Redknapp, now in charge of Premier League highflyers Tottenham Hotspur.

Both men deny charges of cheating the public revenue.

Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov resigned as chairman of Portsmouth in November after the club’s parent company was placed into administration just a week after he was granted bail following the collapse of a bank he owned.

However, the company responsible for operating the actual team — Portsmouth Football Club Limited — is still trading and is not in administration, though it is now seeking fresh funds.

Portsmouth were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2009/10 season — when they again reached the FA Cup final — after being deducted points for entering administration.

At the time the club had debts of £130 million and were on the verge of liquidation when Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai took over in October.