CRUNCH TIME FOR THE O’S IN HIGHT COURT...
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.