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Leyton Orient winding-up bid adjourned, club still in 'mortal danger'

Leyton Orient will have to wait until June 12.

Struggling football club Leyton Orient live to fight in court another day after a judge adjourned a winding-up bid. But fans say Orient, bottom of League Two and at risk of dropping into the National League, remain in "mortal danger."

Bosses at an events management firm said on Monday they were owed about £18,000 and wanted to launch a winding-up application.

The judge, Registrar Nicholas Briggs, said he would adjourn Central Circle Event Management's application until June 12 after hearing of plans that the club's owner, Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti was to inject £1m into its coffers in the near future.

He analysed the case at a Bankruptcy & Companies Court hearing in London and was told club bosses also owed other people money. He heard a council was owed about £35,000 and a photographer about £6,000.

Tax officials had launched a winding-up application but they abandoned their bid after a lawyer told the judge that tax owed had been paid.

Organisers of the Leyton Orient Fans Trust said after the hearing that they feared for the future.

Adam Michaelson, the trust's legal adviser, said he suspected the total debt was much bigger than the figures which emerged in court and said: "There are a number of still outstanding creditors, including a number more that were not represented today.

"It leaves the club in a state of significant uncertainty and, frankly, mortal danger. There is everything to suggest up until now that Mr [Francesco] Becchetti's word can't necessarily be relied upon."

Barrister Andrew Shaw, who represented Orient, had urged the judge to adjourn the hearing to another day.

Outside court, fans said they would like to see Orient under new ownership.

Kelly Kaye, 39, who works for a charity and has been a fan for 32 years, said: "It would be good if the club could be sold." She added: "I would like it to go to somebody who can actually take care of it and look after it properly. We've got a great history."

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