A PUB landlord in Leamington facing a £8,000 tax bill has placed a huge sign in his bar threatening to name and shame punters who owe him money.
Kevin Murphy – who owns Murphy’s in Regent Street – says he has lent money to cash-strapped punters and struggling fellow landlords for the past 20 years.
But the 51-year-old has recently received a £8,000 demand from the taxman, and he is now calling on those who have borrowed from him to pay their debts – which he says total around £10,000.
In a bid to claw back the money, he has put up a 10ft sign in the window of his pub calling on the debters to cough up.
The dad-of-one, who runs the pub with daughter Lisa, said: “I have been the landlord here for 22 years and during that time I’ve lent people £10 here, £20 there and £100 when they needed it. I lent one landlord £1,500 seven years ago, that was the highest amount.
“People see me as a soft touch and they take advantage of that. Some of them have got no intention of paying, but the taxman is asking me for money, so I need the cash I’m owed urgently.
“You don’t go into Tesco and say to the person on the till ‘I’m a bit skint right now, I’ll pay you tomorrow.’ These were loans not gifts.”
Kevin says those who fail to pay up by August 1 could have their names listed next to their debts in the pub window – although legally this could be a problem for the cash-strapped landlord.
And it is not the first time he has used the premises to name and shame – two years ago he placed a board outside urging customers not to fly with Easyjet after£1,000 went missing from one of his bags on a flight.
But his latest high profile venture does appear to be working with a number of those who have borrowed cash getting in touch to repay their debts.
Kevin said: “There’s no deadline on my repayments at the moment. If there was names would already be in my window.
“But if I don’t get paid those names are going up and they won’t come down until they’ve settled up.”
The sign reads –
Over the years I have helped numerous people out with a couple of quid sub, a roof over their heads or a couple of barrels of beer to a landlord/landlady.
Mostly, I have been repaid for these favours but with the sub of money it was always a loan, not a gift.
Now, unfortunately, the taxman has presented me with a rather a large backdated demand for money, which I must pay and for which I am being charged interest.
Fortunately, what I am owed and what I owe are fairly similar, so I am therefore politely asking all of the people who owe me money for all of my money back.
I have to do it this way because (surprisingly) the people that owe me money no longer drink in my pub.
Just in case the people that owe me money are not only forgetful but also a bit short-sighted, I will print their names in nice big letters along with what they owe, what it was for and how old the debt is, in the next advert that I place here in four weeks’ time.
Obviously I will print all the people’s names right here in the window on August 1, 2015 if they have not cleared their debt or made arrangements with me to do so.
If you know anyone who owes me money, please draw this to their attention so as to avoid embarrassment to them or their families.