Uncertainty once again surrounds the future of Eastwood Town Football Club after it was issued with a winding up order by HM Revenue and Customs.
The order gives the club until Monday, November 18 to pay an outstanding tax bill believed to be around £160,000.
But current owner Steve Lynch says the order relates to staff employed by the club when it was run by former chairman Robert Yong, but who HMRC believe still represent Eastwood Town.
He said: “There is a list of around 40 people who used to work for the club but who ceased to when Rob Yong left.
“What has happened is that when those people, who include a number of contracted players at the time, left the club, they were never issued with P45s and therefore according to HMRC still work there and as a result we’re liable for the tax.
“Once the next regime came in everything was registered under a new PAYE number which is why there is no demand for anything after that date.
“So as far as I’m concerned, once all the relevant paperwork is sent off to prove they haven’t been here for the last two years, the order will be quashed and we won’t need to go to the High Court.”
Current vice-chairman Steve Peat said the winding up order came somewhat out of the blue, and had jeopardised a potential takeover deal that was close to going through.
He said: “We nearly had a deal done based on a manageable debt that would have been great for the club, but then this HMRC order came out of nowhere and has put a massive question mark over it.
“As things stand we’ll be fighting the order and will hopefully get things sorted, but until then we’ll have a team out at Loughborough Dynamo on Saturday and also for the home game coming up after that.
“We’ve got a Hallowe’en party on Friday night (November 1) with a disco and some fun and games going on so hopefully that can bring some revenue in, as will the upcoming matches with teams like Belper.
“Financially the club is crippled and that’s well known, but we will keep fighting and hope the winding up order can be seen off so we can continue trying to rebuild, which has been going quite well in the last few weeks.”