Let's hope that the Wellington Phoenix can again rise from the ashes...
It's an important day today for Wellington property developer and Wellington Phoenix owner Terry Serepisos. We will find out whether he's been able to rake up the cash ($4 million) to pay the IRD, and whether that money, if it materialises, is from a reputable source.
There has been all sorts of speculation over Western Gulf Alliance, Serepisos' supposed rescuer. In the clip embedded in the link here, Matt Nippert from the NBR talks about WGA's track record. Serepisos has admitted paying a fee up-front in advance of a loan of $100m from WGA, and we will find out today whether the money has arrived.
Whilst we understand that the global financial crisis badly affected those who dabble in property development, it's hard to have much sympathy for Serepisos' plight with the IRD. It is alleged that PAYE and other employee deductions have not been passed on to the taxman. In addition, ACC levies remain unpaid. That is inexcusible, and by withholding tax payments, Serepisos is effectively depriving every New Zealander of much-needed tax revenue.
As regular readers will be aware, we are fans of the Wellington Phoenix, and we hope that the team can survive Terry Serepisos' business woes. It must be a nervous time for the 'Nix players, and we hope that the team comes through this crisis. We'll be watching with interest today.