Council tax debt was a mistake, says football legend Robertson
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But at Inverness Sheriff Court on Wednesday, the local authority’s solicitor asked for the action to be withdrawn.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