AFTER a great first half of the season on the pitch, Swindon Town is facing a slightly different battle off of it - because the club has been hit with a winding up petition.

Town had a tumultuous summer earlier this year as the legal wranglings over ownership concluded with Australian businessman Clem Morfuni taking over, but the consequences of his predecessor's reign in charge of the club are still being felt now.

American firm AC Sports Wiltshire, otherwise known as Able, claim that a loan they made to the club when Lee Power was looking to sell to them is outstanding and should be paid back. In order to try to reclaim those funds, believed to be between £100,000 and £300,000, they have pursued legal action against Swindon Town.

A winding up petition is usually a last-resort for creditors that are owed money used against companies that are insolvent and can't pay their debt. If the court sides with the creditors then that company is typically forced into liquidation.

In this case, The Robins' CEO, Rob Angus, says that they are disputing the claim from Able that the money paid was a loan, which is why the dispute is going to court, but they could pay it if they were legally obligated to.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wiltshire he said: “We’ve received a winding-up petition in respect of an alleged debt that came from AC Sports Wiltshire, or Able as they’re otherwise known.

"It’s a debt that we’re contesting. I think in court hearings it might have been referred to as a non-refundable deposit, and it’s come via another company, and the fact it’s come from another company which has links to the previous owner has not been explained and therefore the club is looking to fight that debt and contest it.

"But as part of that process the people chasing that debt have set up a winding up petition which the club will defend."

Angus also offered reassurance to fans that they shouldn't be worried about this development because there are funds in place, although he did add that steps were being taken in case the club's bank accounts got frozen.

"No they shouldn’t be particularly concerned, the club has got more than sufficient funds in the bank account to pay the debt if the courts say that the club is required to do so. It’s a bit of a headache and we could do without it, but people shouldn't worry.

"It has a technical impact if that makes sense, but Clem is making other funding available through his UK companies so we have fall-back positions if we needed them.

"But no-one should worry, key payments will be made and the club will continue through. We’ve got funding and funding mechanisms ready to go to make sure it doesn’t cause any issues for Swindon Town football club."

The winding-up petition will be deliberated at the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales on January 12, 2022.