Leyton Orient winding-up petition dismissed – but lack of players and kit leaves club's future mired in doubt

Frank Dalleres
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Leyton Orient v Peterborough United - Sky Bet League One Semi Final: Second Leg
Orient have dropped two divisions in three seasons (Source: Getty)

A leading Leyton Orient supporters’ group insists the east London club remain in imminent danger despite surviving a winding-up petition at the High Court on Monday.

The petition was dismissed after Orient complied with an order to settle debts with four creditors, including a company that provided stewards, the local authority, Waltham Forest Council, and the club photographer.

It is the latest escape for Orient, whose controversial owner Francesco Becchetti avoided administration in March by paying an outstanding tax bill and pledging to inject £1m to cover other debts.

Read more: Orient staff call on FA and EFL to step in over wages stalemate

But the club, who lost their 112-year English Football League status last month when they were relegated to the fifth tier, are still mired in uncertainty over their ability to start the new season.

Adam Michaelson, legal advisor to the Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT), which has called on Becchetti to sell up, said the club “has not been saved” and is “in a dangerous position”.

He added: “We’re not in a position to say what is going on. The communication we've had is absolutely zero.

“All we know is what we can see, which is nine junior professionals, no seniors, no access to a training ground, no shirts, no training tops, and they’re due back in pre-season [training] in the first week of July.”

LOFT’s Matt Roper said survival was “week-to-week”. “There are no guarantees we can actually put a team out next year. So survival, yes, but in the very thinnest sense of the word,” he told the BBC.

Orient have dropped two divisions and spiralled into crisis since Becchetti bought Orient from sports promoter Barry Hearn in 2014.

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