Leyton Orient have avoided administration – for now, at least – after the League Two club’s controversial owner Francesco Becchetti staved off a winding-up order brought by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Becchetti settled the unpaid tax bill but, at a High Court hearing today, was given until 12 June to pay off four other creditors including Waltham Forest Council.
Orient chief executive Alessandro Angelieri told the court that Becchetti, who did not attend the hearing, had pledged to inject £1m over the next eight to 10 weeks to clear the outstanding debts.
It means the east London outfit are likely to be able to fulfil the remainder of their fixtures this season as they fight to avoid dropping out of the fourth tier. They are currently bottom of the division.
Becchetti may have settled the tax bill, thought to be around £250,000, but Orient still owe more money to HMRC, a company that provides match-day stewards, and the club photographer.
A legal adviser to the Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust said the club remained in “mortal danger” and urged Italian renewable energy and waste management tycoon Becchetti to sell the team he bought in 2014.
“We would call upon Mr Becchetti now to look to sell the club at the earliest possible opportunity and make good on the promise that he’s made,” said Adam Michaelson.
Orient, who only missed out on promotion to the Championship on penalties in 2014, lie seven points from safety at the foot of League Two following Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat by Doncaster.