The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Lyons

LEY­TON Ori­ent fans fear the club’s fu­ture is bleak un­der cur­rent owner Francesco Bec­chetti – even if he pays up to avert a wind­ing-up pe­ti­tion against the O’s in the High Court to­mor­row.

The east Lon­don out­fit have been taken to court by HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms for non-pay­ment of tax, be­lieved to be £250,000.

Bec­chetti has kept his coun­sel on the is­sue, but the EFL met with the club ear­lier this month to dis­cuss the mat­ter.

In a state­ment last Wed­nes­day, the EFL said: “We were ad­vised that a fund­ing plan is in place to clear the pe­ti­tion debt and to com­plete their re­main­ing nine league fix­tures.”

The threat of liq­ui­da­tion hangs over the League Two side if they don’t set­tle the bill, but the Ley­ton Ori­ent Fans’ Trust are also con­cerned about what hap­pens next if Bec­chetti stumps up the cash.

“It could be that the club are go­ing to pay it, but it won’t solve any­thing,” said LOFT vice-chair­man Tom Davies. “It’s quite a mess and there could be more prob­lems down the track or an­other wind­ing-up or­der.”

LOFT will be rep­re­sented at the hear­ing and are pre­par­ing for ev­ery even­tu­al­ity, which also in­clude ad­min­is­tra­tion or an ad­journ­ment which would buy the club time.

The fans’ trust have raised £100,000 in the last cou­ple of weeks to­wards a fight­ing fund tar­get of £250,000 which they hope will give them some in­flu­ence over the club’s fu­ture, bear­ing in mind what hap­pens to­mor­row.

Davies added: “We have tapped into a lot of af­fec­tion for the club and the amount we’ve raised so far has ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions. We have been over­whelmed by the sup­port we’ve re­ceived.”

The EFL have said they will of­fer prac­ti­cal as­sis­tance to the rel­e­ga­tion -haunted club and will mon­i­tor de­vel­op­ments.

DE­CI­SIONS: Bec­chetti

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