Judge dismisses bankruptcy petition against ex-England star – but he faces fresh claim

A judge has dismissed a bankruptcy petition lodged by tax officials against former Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes.

Judge Mark Mullen was told by an official from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at a hearing on Wednesday that a tax debt had been paid and a settlement reached.

But the judge was also informed that 60-year-old Barnes was facing another claim from the liquidators of a company he used to run, John Barnes Media Ltd.

Barrister Honor Brocklebank-Fowler, representing the company’s liquidators, said a “director’s loan” was “outstanding”.

She told the court the former Liverpool winger had been the sole director of the company, which went bust earlier this year.

The barrister added the liquidators wanted to lodge a separate bankruptcy petition but didn’t say how much money was involved.

Judge Mullen dismissed the bankruptcy petition lodged by HMRC and said he would reconsider the John Barnes Media liquidators’ claim on 22 January.

Barnes was not at the hearing in London nor was he represented by a lawyer.

Image: John Barnes challenges Everton’s Paul Rideout in 1995

Another judge considered the HMRC claim at a hearing in September, where it was said Barnes owed £238,000.

Barrister Nathan Webb, who represented the ex-footballer at that hearing, told the judge that his client “just” needed time to pay.

He said Barnes was employed by Liverpool Football Club “on a salary of £200,000” and was “very well and able to pay”.

A different judge dismissed another bankruptcy petition lodged by tax officials against Barnes in June.

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John Barnes on changing society

An HMRC official had indicated, during that earlier litigation, that the former sportsman owed at least £200,000 and said the money owed had been paid.

Barnes’ football career spanned almost 20 years as he played for Watford, Liverpool, Newcastle and Charlton Athletic.

He won 79 England caps and later became head coach at Celtic and Jamaica.

Barnes was declared bankrupt in 2009, days after he was fired as manager of Tranmere Rovers.

Source : Sky News