Unpaid tax

Ex-England star Barnes faces bankruptcy petition

John Barnes
Debts: John Barnes

Tax officials have launched a bankruptcy petition against former England international footballer and Celtic manager John Barnes over debts amounting to more than £200,000.

At a hearing in the Insolvency & Companies Court, it was revealed by HM Revenue & Customs that the former Liverpool star was owed £238,000.

Barnes, who went on to manage Celtic after winning 79 caps for his country, was not present at the hearing in front of Judge Catherine Burton, who made no orders and said that Barnes’ case would be reconsidered on 29 November.

Barrister Nathan Webb represented the ex-player and told the court his client “just” needed time to pay and asked for an adjournment.

He said the 59-year-old was employed by Liverpool FC “on a salary of £200,000”.

“Mr Barnes is very well and able to pay,” Mr Webb told Judge Burton. “He just requires a bit of time.”

Another bankruptcy petition lodged by tax officials against Barnes three months ago was dismissed by a previous judge.

HMRC officials had indicated during that earlier litigation that Barnes had owed at least £200,000. They had told a judge that money owed had been paid.

Barnes, who also played for Watford and Newcastle United, starred for England between 1983 and 1995.

He became Celtic boss in June 1999 but was sacked just eight months later.

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