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London Welsh rugby club winding-up application adjourned

An application by the taxman to wind up debt-ridden London Welsh has been adjourned until after Christmas.

Officials at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had asked for the club, which in the 1960s and 1970s boasted some of the biggest names in Welsh rugby among its ranks, to be wound up at a Bankruptcy & Companies Court hearing in London on Monday.

But a judge - Registrar Christine Derrett - adjourned the application until January 23 to give creditors time to hold a meeting.

A judge had analysed the case at a hearing in October when a barrister representing HMRC indicated that the club owed more than £90,000 in tax.

London Welsh's website says the club was founded in a Fleet Street hotel in 1885 by a group of Welshmen living in the capital.

In the 1960s and 1970s, internationals including John Dawes, JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, John Taylor and Mervyn Davies featured in line-ups during a golden age.

The club is now mid-table in rugby's second tier, the Championship.

Last week, London Welsh chairman Gareth Hawkins said the club aimed to go into voluntary liquidation.

He said there was "no alternative".

"London Welsh has reached a difficult point in its illustrious history," said Hawkins in a statement posted on the club's website.

"Due to a playing budget of £1.7million and gates at games numbering as low as 400, the club's current business model is totally unsustainable.

"The debts accrued from trading in this way have left the club with no alternative but to seek liquidation."

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