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Wycombe Wanderers chairman says High Court hearing nothing to worry about
WANDERERS chairman Don Woodward has moved to reassure fans the club's upcoming High Court date is a formality and they have the funds to pay off an outstanding tax bill.
But Woodward said today the cash is there to satisfy the taxman - adding he won't attend the court date on March 25 because the situation is all in hand.
He said there was no reason to panic, with supporters worrying the hearing at London's High Court could be the first step towards a possible administration.
Woodward said: "HMRC have a procedure which they need to go through. A lot of things have happened since.
"It's part of a process and people need to understand that.
"Over the last few weeks we've been speaking about getting cash in the pot to catch up on everything.
"I'm confident we will get through things and raise the funds we'll require."
He added: "We won't go to the hearing - we'll sort things out before."
The taxman initiated winding up proceedings against Wanderers on February 11 but Woodward said the club had raised the necessary cash in the intervening period.
Selling the club's training ground had helped to raise the money which will pay off the tax bill, he said.
Woodward said the club also finally look set to secure the loan they have been looking for ever since the Wycombe Wanderers Trust took over the ownership in June from Steve Hayes.
He said: "We've had an offer and we hope that comes through. There's no reason why it shouldn't.
"It's taken longer to get the loan we set out to get the day we took over."
He said the loan consisted of 'a small amount' which would contribute towards the £600,000 the Trust originally said it needed when it took over in the summer.
Woodward said not being able to secure a loan meant Wanderers had had a lack of working capital to work with.
A plea for donations from fans last week would fill that gap, he said - adding supporters had already taken up that call to arms.
He said: "It supports the team and club and we've had lots of donations already.
"We suggested a nominal sum [£10] which people have quadrupled and more, which is fantastic. We've had an awful lot of people sign up already to give us some working capital.
"The club's aim is to break even next season. Once we're over our current short term issues, things are looking extremely rosy."
Meanwhile HMRC spoksman Patrick O'Brien said: "We are unable to discuss individual cases under any circumstances.
"Ensuring tax is paid in full and on time should be at the centre of football's business strategy just as it should be for any other enterprise.
"HMRC does not initiate winding up football clubs lightly, however we will not hesitate to do so when that is the right way to protect the country's tax revenues and other creditors."