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Supporters save Welling United after lending funds to pay outstanding £60,000 tax bill

Barry Hobbins
Barry Hobbins

By Matthew Panting

Welling general manager Barry Hobbins has described the club's supporters as "fantastic" after they saved the club's immediate future on Friday afternoon.

Supporters have loaned the club enough money to settle their outstanding tax bill.

The Wings are the subject of a winding-up order from HMRC over a tax bill that totalled nearly £100,000. The Wings paid more than £30,000 earlier in the summer but were given a final 14 days to raise the remaining £60,000 required to secure their future.

"It's fantastic news," said general manager Barry Hobbins (pictured). "We're delighted that our fans have pulled together in our hour of need.

"They've done brilliantly, their generosity has gone far especially in the financial times we are in.

"Hopefully everyone can go to Luton now in the FA Trophy on Sunday and enjoy the day, but we also need to remember that the hard work starts here as we look to moving the club forward under a new constitution."

The deadline to pay the tax man is Wednesday but the Wings have raised the money after supporters loaned the club funds to pay the bill. Supporters will then either be repaid on an annual basis or can convert their loans into season tickets.

Leathes Prior solicitor Dan Chapman confirmed that the club now have enough funds to settle their immediate debt.

A club statement added that there is "even a small surplus which will assist in meeting other liabilities."

The Wings will keep the account open for a further seven days for supporters who still wish to contribute. There will be a further £20,000 due to HMRC in the coming months and other debts to be settled. However, on a positive note, the Wings have a money-spinning FA Trophy tie at Luton on Sunday and two potentially lucrative home derbies over the festive period against Bromley and Dartford.

Welling have been informed that the winding-up order will now be formally dismissed on Wednesday, at which point they will make a further statement with regard to the exact sum raised, the number of lenders and the new constitution that will be formed.

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