Liquidation looms large for Moray Highland League side

Rothes FC - facing liquidation order
Rothes FC – facing liquidation order

HIGHLAND LEAGUE CLUB Rothes have just days to pay a £20,000 tax bill – or else face liquidation.

Rothes FC supporters were told last night that their club must pay that amount to HMRC by the end of this week when they gathered at a crisis meeting last night.

The total bill owned in tax by the troubled club – who fans were told had not paid any tax since 2009 – is £33,000. Now club officials are set to appear at Elgin Sheriff Court on Friday in an attempt to have the amount they need to pay reduced – but fears are now growing that the club may not survive another week.

It was revealed last month that Rothes were facing severe financial problems after receiving a winding-up order. Initially the club’s chairman, Robbie Thomson, insisted that the club would see out their fixture commitments – but he has now resigned, although his wife Anne insisted that she would continue as treasurer until the next AGM.

Mrs Thomson did not, however, attend the crisis meeting last night, telling the P&J: “I was unable to attend due to work commitments, but I can confirm that my husband has decided to step down as chairman. I do not know if the decision will be taken out of my hands, but I intend to stay on in my role as club treasurer.”

Reports suggest that the total owed by Rothes consists of a £20,000 unpaid tax bill with an additional £13,000 added in fines and penalties for non-payment.

Some supporters of the club were last night pinning their hopes on a last-minute saviour – perhaps in the form of local businessman Richard Forsyth, who was in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting.

Last night the club’s vice-chairman Rab Mulheron thanked fans for turning out at the crisis meeting, saying on a social media page: “A progressive and positive meeting and together we will move forward.”

Mr Mulheron added that a second meeting would be held on Monday at 7pm in the Rothes Social Club when they might “sort out a clearer path to the next chapter in Rothes Football Club”.

The Highland League season go under way last weekend – with Rothes suffering an eleven goal defeat at the hands of Brora Rangers.