Portsmouth FC handed seven-day reprieve
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Portsmouth FC handed seven-day reprieve

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Portsmouth Football Club (PFC) has been granted a stay of execution after the High Court agreed to give the troubled Premier League club more time to fight off a winding up petition.

The club has been given a week to submit a "statement of financial affairs", following the High Court's decision to adjourn proceedings brought by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over a multi-million pound tax bill. Last week, Hong Kong-based investor Balram Chainrai took control of PFC after seizing Ali al-Faraj's majority stake in the club when Falcondrone, the former owner, failed to meet the terms of a loan agreement.

A PFC spokesperson said: "Portsmouth Football Club welcoms the decision by the High Court to allow the club time to demonstrate its plans to restructure and stabilise the business under new owner Balram Chainrai." Meanwhile, the High Court agreed to adjourn winding up petitions against both Cardiff City Football Club (CCFC) and Southend United Football Club (SUFC) for a further 28 days.

CCFC, which competes in the Coca-Cola Championship, has paid £1m as part of its obligations to HMRC and will now have four more weeks to settle the remaining balance over an unpaid £2.7m bill. SUFC, which paid £2.15m owed to HMRC in November last year, has also been given more time to settle an ongoing dispute over a further £200,000 that is set to be subject to appeal with the Tribunals Service.

Hinckley United Football Club (HUFC) of the Blue Square North is reported to have settled with HMRC out of court, while Folkestone Invicta Football Club has already secured a Company Voluntary Agreement to help meet its financial difficulties. Elsewhere, Chester City Football Club (CCFC) is facing an uncertain future after being forced to postpone its fixture with Forest Green Rovers Football Club on 9 February at short notice when players refused to travel.

The Blue Square Premier side has also been hit by the news that its match with Wrexham Football Club (WFC), scheduled for 14 February, will not go ahead after the local council issued a prohibition order on the club's Deva Stadium. According to a WFC statement, "no spectators will be permitted to enter the ground and Trading Standards does not want the game to proceed behind closed doors for the fear of disorder outside the ground".

The news comes as Welsh Premier League side The New Saints Football Club revealed that it has applied to ground share with CCFC from next season after being turned down in its bid for grant aid to redevelop the Park Hall Stadium near Oswestry, Shropshire. Administrators battling to secure the future of Coca-Cola Championship side Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC) have placed an advertisement in the Financial Times in the hope of finding a buyer.

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Portsmouth Football Club (PFC) has been granted a stay of execution after the High Court agreed to give the troubled Premier League club more time to fight off a winding up petition.
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