Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for a “fit and proper person test” for football club owners in the wake of Leyton Orient’s plight.
The motion, submitted in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday, March 15), proposes club owners should undergo tests to prove they are able to pay creditors.
On March 1, Orient was issued a winding-up petition from HMRC to gather what is believed to be an unpaid tax bill in the region of £125,000 to £250,000.
The club and the creditors are due to appear at High Court on Monday to settle the dispute.
Other creditors, such as Alchemy Creations, which print match day programmes for The O’s, have since been revealed.
Mr Cryer’s motion notes: “Deep concern that a winding-up order has been served on Leyton Orient FC by HM Revenue and Customs due to non-payment of taxes by the club's owner, Francesco Becchetti”
It criticises Mr Becchetti's: “highly dubious business record, including a criminal investigation by the Albanian Government, and his incompetent stewardship of Leyton Orient FC”, saying: “A venerable and well-known community football club is now under threat”.
It calls on the government to introduce a: “Genuine fit and proper person test, ensuring that any prospective or current club owner's ability and willingness to pay creditors is robustly checked on a regular basis.”
Early Day Motions (EDMs) are submitted by MPs for debate in the House of Commons. No specific time is allocated to debate EDMs and very few are ever eventually debated.