City chairman confirms appeal

Mr Gibson issues personal statement on club website

ST ALBANS City chairman John Gibson has confirmed the club will appeal the Football Association’s decision to dock the club 10 points for financial irregularities.

In a statement issued on the club’s official website Mr Gibson said: “The reason for the silence to date, is because an Appeal will be lodged before next Friday, against the recent FA decision and it was deemed sensible, not to further inflame the situation by making comments that may be held against us when or if the appeal is heard.”

The chairman, who was the subject of protests from the club’s supporters during Saturday’s defeat to Chelmsford City, says the club’s payroll procedures were checked as recently as a fortnight ago and no issues were raised by HMRC.

“The first point that I would like to make is that the problem with the FA has nothing at all to do with the non payment of tax and PAYE,” added Gibson.

“This appears to be a popular misconception. The club is currently completely up to date with PAYE and the current payroll systems where examined less than two weeks ago, by HMRC at the offices of Rayner Essex and as far as I am aware, there was not a single query from the HMRC inspectors.”

Mr Gibson’s statement also revealed that the money from the club’s FA Cup run earlier this season has been spent bridging the gap between the wage budget and the actual income.

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“The Club has a playing budget of �3,500 per week which is one of the lowest budgets in the league,” continued the statement.

“If that budget is reduced then relegation is the likely outcome. To pay those wages, the club needs attendance figures which are in excess of 550 or 600 per home game, which I would remind everyone, is once a fortnight, whilst remembering the players are paid weekly. It is therefore a question of simple mathematics to reach the conclusion that each season there is a tremendous shortfall, which is in excess of �100,000 per annum, because attendances are rarely above 350. When a supporter therefore asks where “their” money from the Luton game went, then clearly there is a simple answer.”