Wakefield Wildcats face axe over tax debt

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats face a High Court hearing after being issued with a winding up order by HMRC for unpaid tax.

The petition is their third in the last 12 months and means the troubled club now face a hearing on Feb 2, just 10 days before the start of the new season.

As reported in the YEP earlier this week, Wildcats chairman Ted Richardson had called on 500 supporters to each buy 1,000 worth of newly-released shares in a bid to raise money.

But the club had only received around 20,000 from fans willing to help them pay the 500,000 needed to meet their outstanding tax bill by February.

A statement issued by the club yesterday said: "The club owes national insurance and VAT from recent months and these figures have been included in a petition which will be heard at the High Court on 2nd February.

"We have been in dialogue with HMRC for a number of weeks and are disappointed that this petition has been served as we were hopeful of reaching a payment plan with them."

The club's financial plans were thrown into disarray recently by the Government's decision to refer plans for a new stadium to a public inquiry.

That decision- which came after Wakefield Council had already given the plans the green light- resulted in a delay in a promised payment of 350,000 from the developers, Mr Richardson told the YEP this week.

And the chairman moved to reassure any supporters considering investing. He said: "Keep optimistic. People should still back us. It's not a risk, it's not me your are backing, it's the club."

Mr Richardson also said the club was exploring other avenues to raise cash, adding: "Let's wait and see. We are talking to different people in different ways as to how people can help."

The Wildcats, one of the founder members of the Northern Union in 1895, have endured tough times in recent years, with the collapse of previous stadium plans at Thornes Park followed by money troubles and the

decision to call in their latest proposals for a new home.

The club are only three weeks away from a game with local rivals Castleford Tigers, with whom they are widely thought to be battling for

a new Super League licence.

A Brockton Capital fund has acquired The Pinnacle, a prominent 145,000 sq ft, mixed-use asset in Leeds city centre, for around �65.0m. Picture: McCoy Wynne

Tallest office block in Leeds is sold for around £65m