Leyton Orient avoid winding-up order after paying tax debt in full
Last Updated: 20/03/17 6:19pm
The future of Leyton Orient is safe for now after telling the Royal Courts of Justice they had paid their tax debt in full.
The League Two side was at threat of being placed in administration and then going into liquidation after HM Revenue & Customs had applied for a winding-up order because of an unpaid tax bill, believed to be £250,000.
EFL rules mean a 12-point deduction for any club in administration.
The league's governing body said last week that the club had assured them that funds were in place to clear the debt and on Monday the court was informed the bill had been settled.
The court was told there are also four other creditors, with the barrister of owner Francesco Becchetti saying their client would put £1m into the club within eight to 10 weeks to clear all debts.
The owner has been given until June 12 to clear all the debts.
However, the Leyton Orient Fans Trust (LOFT) believe the adjournment of the winding-up order has left the club and supporters in a "state of limbo".
"Today's events leave the club, its suppliers, its employees and all O's supporters in a state of limbo," a statement on the LOFT website read.
"While the immediate threat of liquidation has been staved off until June, there is clearly a significant level of debt remaining.
"A further winding-up petition from HMRC cannot be ruled out, if the next bill for unpaid tax is treated the same way by Mr Becchetti [club owner Francesco] as the last one.
"It is clear now that the only way Leyton Orient can hope to recover as a football club, both on and off the field, is for Mr Becchetti to sell, and sell as soon as possible.
"We are also extremely grateful for the other fundraising being organised with the fund in mind - including the various memorabilia auctions, benefit gigs and other pledges.
"Our thanks to the very many supporters, of Orient and the wider football family, who have sent us messages of support in the past weeks. The fight to save Orient continues."
Orient are bottom of League Two and have lost 24 of their 38 league games this season.
They have been a league club for 112 years and less than three years ago they were two penalty kicks away from promotion to the Championship.
In July 2014, lifelong fan and promoter Barry Hearn sold the club for £4m to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti two months after they lost the League One play-off final to Rotherham United on penalties.
Waste disposal businessman Becchetti had big plans for the club. He was described by one UK newspaper as "one of the richest men in Italy" but his time in charge has been plagued by controversies, fan protests, managerial changes and defeats on the pitch.
The club have had 10 managers under Becchetti and in January 2016 he was banned for six games and fined £40,000 by the FA for kicking assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler.