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David Richards J dismissed Commissioners of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) high profile challenge to the football creditor's rule, which has the effect of ensuring that certain classes of creditor in the football community are paid in full, at the apparent expense of ordinary creditors, using funds that appeared to be due to the insolvent football club. The policy was not in breach of either the pari passu principles or the anti-deprivation principle. The legal entitlement of the football club to funds was conditional and, construing the FA and Football League's articles and rules, the club had no entitlement to funds until the conditions were met. If the conditions were not met, the operation of the policy did not take away a club's asset, or apply the club's asset unfairly. Importantly, it was decided that the anti-deprivation principle was of general application when a company went into administration.
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...