‘Business as usual for Badgers’ says boss Hayward

Gary Hayward.
Gary Hayward.

Eastwood Town manager Gary Hayward says it will be ‘business as usual’ at Coronation Park this weekend as the Badgers prepare to host Belper Town.

A chaotic few days at the end of last week saw Eastwood’s fixture at Loughborough Dynamo postponed and fears for the club’s future after a winding up order was handed to the club by HM Revenue and Customs.

Amid the confusion, three players left Coronation Park and there were question marks over the futures of many of the club’s staff.

But with club owner Steve Lynch claiming the tax bill will most likely be quashed once the relevant paperwork is put forward, boss Hayward says he is now determined to get things back to normality on the pitch.

He said: “Obviously there was some concern when the Loughborough game was called off and a lot of speculation started flying around.

“But it was the league who postponed the game, purely because Steve Lynch had temporarily resigned as our only director and as a result there was no insurance in place to allow it to go ahead.

“On that basis I’m told we won’t be punished due to it being the league’s decision.

“We then had two or three players leave, including keeper Lewis King and striker Kieran Wells, and a couple of signings we were due to make fell through as well.

“But it’s my understanding that the relevant paperwork has now been received to hand to HMRC and that this paperwork will be sufficient to cancel the winding up order.”

Hayward added that he is also hopeful deals can be done with other debtors owed money by Eastwood Town, and that the club can move forward in a proactive and positive manner.

“There are of course other debts but I hope the club can now sit down with the relevant parties, including the council and the energy companies to whom we owe money, and sort out some kind of payment plan,” he said.

“We’ve got some social events coming up in the clubhouse, including a Children In Need day on Sunday where there will be a charity match, reduced price drinks, a hog roast and games for kids, and there’s also a Rod Stewart and Blondie tribute act lined up for November 15 - all of which should help boost the coffers.”

Hayward also said how keen he is to put smiles back on the faces of Badgers fans.

He said: “I’m really keen to get the fans and the community back behind us. Once we’ve got this tax bill issue sorted out I think we’ll be able to give things on the pitch a really good shot and we need people behind us all the way.

“We’ve got to draw a line under what’s happened so far this season and focus hard on the remainder of it.

“In a sense we’ve taken a few steps backward on the playing side with some lads having left but I’ve brought in goalkeeper Denham Hinds from Hinckley to replace Lewis King, who went to Boston, and I’m really keen to get a couple more in before the weekend.

“It won’t be easy against Belper as they’re one of the best sides in the division but we were starting to gather some momentum before last week and it’s important we try and regain that.”

Following the game against Belper, Eastwood then travel to Gresley FC on Monday for a Doodson Sport Cup first round tie. The Moatmen knocked the Badgers out of the FA Cup earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, club owner Steve Lynch and vice-chairman Steve Peat were unavailable to speak to the Advertiser this week, but a statement posted on the club website by Lynch on Monday highlighted the desire and belief that the HMRC bill will be quashed.

The statemen in full read: “We have been served with a writ in relation to TAX/PAYE liabilities for the club for the amount of £168,000 by HMRC. This amount has been assessed and is for the period 2011/12 and 2012/13.

“In this assessment it lists all the players and staff from the 2011 season as still being at the club as of July 2013 despite them all leaving in April 2011.

“We have received paperwork from DTD limited who were in control of the payroll for April 2011 and will pass this on to the tax office to get this corrected and the writ action withdrawn.

“When the club was taken over in May 2011 it registered with the tax office under a new payroll number which has been the one the club has used since however the tax office did not close down the old reference number which was used up to April 2011, which is what has caused this problem.

“Once we have had confirmation from the tax office they have received the paperwork confirming their error, we will update you.”

The winding up order was due to be heard on Monday, November 18, but club officials expect the case to be dismissed before that date.