Talks with the taxman give Pompey fans a chance for optimism

20/4/11  ''Aerial views of Portsmouth and the surrouning areas viewed from one of the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre's Motor Gliders.'Pictured is Fratton Park and surrounding area''Picture: Paul Jacobs (111408-23)
20/4/11 ''Aerial views of Portsmouth and the surrouning areas viewed from one of the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre's Motor Gliders.'Pictured is Fratton Park and surrounding area''Picture: Paul Jacobs (111408-23)
Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey defender: My responsibility for error

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FANS have praised a city MP for getting the taxman to finally agree to hold talks with Pompey.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt took part in a conference call yesterday between representatives from the club and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Chief executive David Lampitt joined other Pompey bosses in asking for more time to pay the unpaid tax bill, which led to a winding up petition being issued last month.

Afterwards, Ms Mordaunt said the call had made progress towards sorting out Portsmouth FC’s financial woes.

Colin Farmery, who runs TrueBlueArmy.com, said he was glad the main players were now speaking to one another.

‘It does reassure me,’ he said.

‘And I have to say I think Penny has played an absolute blinder for Portsmouth Football Club.

‘If she is cracking heads together then that has to be good sign.

‘We’re far from being out of the woods but if the conversations are happening then that is a good thing.

‘People need to talk and be realistic about things.

‘If the people involved have genuinely got the best interests of the football club at heart, then they’ll know what they need to do.’

Pompey have been unable to pay players and staff since HMRC’s winding up petition was made public last month.

The club could ultimately be facing liquidation if drastic action has not been taken by February 20 when they must face the taxman in the High Court.

Ms Mordaunt said she couldn’t reveal details of what was discussed yesterday, but that she was glad that talks had started.

‘It went well,’ she said. ‘It was a constructive conversation and we are further ahead now than we were.

‘I’m satisfied that it was useful to get HMRC and the club talking.

‘It was helpful and I’m pleased it took place.

‘The fans should be reassured that the people who need to talk to each other are now in discussion.

‘I am sure they will want to continue talking, but the topics of their conversations will depend on the circumstances.’