Crystal Palace have dismissed reports that the company which owns the football club is about to be struck off for failing to file its annual report on time.
CPFC 2010 Ltd, the company which controls the club, was supposed to have lodged its audited annual accounts for 2016-2017 by the end of March. Today, a source close to the club admitted to Inside Croydon that the accounts are “substantially late”.
Company law dictates that firms which fail to submit their annual reports on time can, as a matter of routine, be struck off, meaning that they cease to exist legally. On Tuesday this week, the Registrar at Companies House issued the formal notice to CPFC 2010 Ltd that it will be “struck off the register and the company will be dissolved” in two months “unless cause is shown to the contrary”.
Failure to file accounts can be a sign that a company is in financial difficulties, or that its auditors have concerns which the company’s directors have not resolved. Palace’s accounts for last year, the club’s fourth season since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2013, were due by March 31. They are expected to reveal the pay-off made to Alan Pardew, who was sacked as manager during the financial period.
Being struck off would be an unprecedented embarrassment for a Premier League club. But with Palace’s own chequered history over its financial management – CPFC 2010 Ltd, of course, stepped in to save the club from receivership eight years ago – and with the tax payment issues currently surrounding Aston Villa, the interest in the club’s position is understandable.
All other 19 clubs who were in the Premier League in 2016-2017 have had their accounts published by Companies House. Thanks to payments received under the first year of the record £8.5billion Premier League television deal, most show healthy financial positions.
And according to sources close to the club, that is expected to be the same situation in the case of Palace when its accounts are formally submitted “in the next few days”.
The source said that the reason for the delay has been the increasingly complicated relationship between CPFC 2010 Ltd and the other companies involved with the club, including CPFC Ltd, CPFC Selhurst Park Ltd, and two other holding companies owned by Palace’s American investors.
The accounts are understood to have been with the Premier League for some time, and the delay in filing has been entirely due to the auditing process, the source said.
Crystal Palace amounts to one of the biggest businesses in Croydon. The club is owned by the chairman, Steve Parish, and American investors, Joshua Harris and David Blitzer. According to the previous accounts, the club made a £7million loss on turnover of £102million in 2015-2016.
Palace’s £100million investment in building a new stand is unaffected by the finances of the parent company, the source said, since that funding is ring-fenced.
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