Port Vale has been served a winding up petition by HMRC as they seek to recover £85k. Rumours about the club were circulating yesterday as they were unable to pay the wages of the players and staff that amounted to £180k. It has emerged that the club had seeked to borrow £300k from Stoke City Council to stay afloat.
The city council is understood to be concerned about lending Vale more money as the club are still repaying a £2.25m loan taken out with the authority in 2006 and they had missed a few payments. What is more the council has had to find budget cuts of £24m.
A spokesman for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs warned they would not go easy on Port Vale. They said;
"There is little HMRC can do for a business, be it a football club or not, whose viability is dependent either on not paying the taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers with similar tax affairs."
Port Vale is the latest in a line of football clubs that HMRC have lost patience with. Rangers, Hearts, Dundee, Portsmouth, Truro have all been served petitions. Truro and Hearts have paid the amounts outstanding whilst the others have been forced into administration. What will be the fate of Port Vale?
See this page on winding up petitions and football clubs
North Staffordshire businessman Mo Chaudry had an offer for the club a few years back rejected and is thought to be interested, but only if they go into administration.
His efforts to buy the club were controversially rejected by the Vale board in 2010.