Coun­cil tax debt was a mis­take, says foot­ball leg­end Robert­son

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS - BY NEIL MACPHAIL

Fo o t b a l l leg­end Jo h n Robert­son said yes­ter­day that he and his wife ended up ow­ing the lo­cal au­thor­ity thou­sands in coun­cil tax be­cause of a mis­un­der­stand­ing.

And he stressed t hey were not forced to sell their In­ver­ness home to stop bank­ruptcy ac­tion by High­land Coun­cil.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity launched moves to have the cou­ple se­ques­trated over the un­paid coun­cil tax.

But at In­ver­ness Sher­iff Court on Wed­nes­day, the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s so­lic­i­tor asked for the ac­tion to be with­drawn.

Mr Robert­son, 49, said last night that when he went to work with Derry City in North­ern Ire­land, his wife Sally took him off the coun­cil tax reg­is­ter.

He said: “When I came back home my wife was very ill and didn’t tell the coun­cil I was back, or let me know we weren’t pay­ing tax on me, and the debt built up.

“We en­tered into a pay­ment plan with the coun­cil to clear the debt.”

Mr Robert­son said there was also a dis­pute with the coun­cil over what was due for his wife’s busi­ness and what was res­i­den­tial prop­erty tax.

He added: “When our house went up for sale the coun­cil were aware of this and it was nor­mal ac­tion for them to raise the ac­tion in court.

“I un­der­stand this was par for the course. At the same time they were happy for us to con­tinue re­pay­ing the money, and at no time did they de­mand that we sell the house.

“There was l ess t han £2,000 left to pay and we paid it off be­cause we were able to.”

He also said they have not gone south as the new own­ers of their f ormer home in Wood­side Gar­dens be­lie ved, but had moved to the vil­lage of Caw­dor.

And he added: “We are not run­ning away from any­thing. We never faced bank­ruptcy and we were not forced to sell the house.”

A lo­cal au­thor­ity s pokeswoman t ol d t he Press and Jo u r n a l o n Wed­nes­day: “The coun­cil pre­vi­ously lodged a pe­ti­tion for se­ques­tra­tion of John Robert­son and Sally Cop­pen but asked the court to lift it im­me­di­ately so their house can be sold.”

HERO: John Robert­son and his wife had set up a pay­ment plan be­fore the ac­tion

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