Town hit with winding-up petition - full story

HALIFAX Town faces its biggest fixture of the season in the courts next week.

Unless a debt, believed to be around 100,000, is paid to the taxman the club faces liquidation.

Sole director Geoff Ralph warned last week the court date loomed after a takeover deal led by David Bosomworth and Bobby Ham had failed to materialise.

Mr Bosomworth and Mr Ham are still working behind the scenes and have pumped money into the club to ensure its survival into this season.

An unattributed statement on the Halifax Town website said the club was fully aware of the winding up petition and had the matter in hand.

It urged everyone to get behind the club as the takeover by the consortium entered its final stages.

"It is the club's intention to ensure this takeover is completed prior to the date of the winding up petition," it said.

Meanwhile, in a separate move, the club's supporters' trust has put its support behind the takeover consortium.

Mr Ralph's solicitors, Haddock and Co, Halifax, said it had little to add to an earlier statement in which Mr Ralph outlined the seriousness of the continuing delays and warned of the court action.

"Geoff Ralph had a legal duty to make that information public," said a spokesman.

"If HM Revenue does not receive satisfactory guarantees that the debt is to be discharged it will be within its rights to seek to liquidate the club.

"We sincerely hope the situation can be addressed satisfactorily."

The board of Halifax Town Supporters' Trust said it had been in talks with Mr Bosomworth and criticised media coverage of the protracted takeover and those involved.

A stumbling block for the consortium has been reaching a large majority shareholding – the supporters' trust is the third biggest shareholder and earlier refused to relinquish its shares – but is now prepared to do so with conditions.

"Supporters will appreciate the levels of investment without security provided over the last few months by the consortium has been very substantial," said a trust statement.

"Mr Bosomworth has our respect and full support in addressing the particularly tough challenges that lie ahead.

"Indeed, to demonstrate our commitment, members will shortly be balloted with a specific board recommendation that, subject to certain strict caveats, the trust shareholding is sold to the consortium, thereby strengthening its ultimate control of the club."

The petition by HM Revenue and Customs will be heard on September 5 at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

Should Town go into administration, under Football Conference rules they would automatically face a 10-point deduction, even if a saviour was to then emerge.

Here is how the bottom of the Blue Square Premier would look if the penalty was applied today.

Histon 5 1 2 2 5 6 5

Rushden & D 5 1 1 3 4 6 4

York 5 1 1 3 6 9 4

Weymouth 5 1 1 3 5 9 4

Farsley 5 1 1 3 4 9 4

Droylsden 5 0 2 3 6 12 2

Altrincham 5 0 2 3 5 11 2

Northwich 5 0 1 4 6 11 1

Stafford 5 0 1 4 3 8 1

Halifax 5 1 2 2 6 5 -5