Dunfermline were last night hopeful of keeping Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs at bay until the end of the year, despite admitting they had managed to clear only part of the first instalment of their £81,000 tax bill.
The Pars’ immediate future remains uncertain after they had been given until yesterday to meet a £50,000 liability, with a further £31,000 due to be paid by close of business tomorrow.
A statement released by the troubled East End Park outfit yesterday suggested they had made “significant contributions to arrears” in recent weeks but chairman John Yorkston last night refused to divulge exactly how much of the £81,000 had been paid off.
The Fifers have not been able to pay their players’ wages in full for October as they have struggled with a fixture list that will have seen them go four weeks without a home game by the time they face Dumbarton this weekend.
With an extensive boardroom overhaul also blamed for cash-flow problems, club officials were forced to contact HMRC to inform them that they would only be able to part-pay their arrears.
A payment plan was also put to the tax body that it is hoped will be accepted, in the same way as Hearts were last week given extra time to come up with the £450,000 they are due in overdue tax.
Yorkston said: “I don’t want to add anything to the club’s statement but we have spoken to HMRC and told them what we can do. It’s up to them to consider, but we’ve got a plan that will clear our arrears by the end of December.”
Dunfermline’s hopes lie in attracting a bigger-than-normal attendance to Saturday’s home match with Dumbarton and then in bringing in significant crowds for the forthcoming matches at East End Park against Hamilton Accies on 15 December and versus rivals Falkirk on Boxing Day.
A share of the revenue from the Scottish Cup tie with Partick Thistle on 1 December and another Fife derby with Raith Rovers on 2 January are also expected to put the club on a more secure financial footing going into 2013.
Having had the benefit of just five home games so far this term, Yorkston added: “We have two derbies coming up in the festive period, as well as being at home to Hamilton and half of the gate at Partick in the cup tie.
“There is a lot of income due to come in in December, whereas so far we’ve had almost as many free Saturdays in the league, because of internationals and the cup, as we’ve had home games.
“The fans can help out by turning up on Saturday to support the club and taking up the offers we currently have for the games over the festive period.”