Edinburgh Fringe

Posted: December 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Well If Justin Edinburgh didn’t realise the sheer scale of the task ahead of him when he signed up to become the O’s fourteenth manager in three years then It’s probably sunk in now. An excruciating ninety minutes in the gloomy suburbs of Birmingham twinned with yet another desperate O’s defeat was a bit of en eye opener for him and at one stage our new boss was heard to comment;’It’s all too fucking easy to get to our goal’. Unfortunately,Solihull had worked that one out from the first minute of the match and they eventually cruised to a 1-0 win that could and should have been nearer the 3-0 that Torquay ran in last week.
Yesterday’s result left Orient hovering precariously above the relegation places in the national league with half our fixtures played and some tough looking encounters in the league looming. The former Southend and Tottenham defender has landed slap bang in the middle of a playing crisis that has evolved alarmingly over the past fourteen league games and Edinburgh has basically taken on a playing squad short on everything required at even the most basic playing level. A squad defensively inept, lacking bite and creativity the the middle of the park and offering very little in attack save for Macaulay Bonne is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Manifesting under the waterline is the very real problem of turning this freefall around in quick time. Throughout this abysmal run of form there has been a growing swell of opinion that most of these players are simply not up to job as it stands when it comes to performing as a collective unit. Fingers have been pointing at the men wearing the shirt of the club in regard to their apathetic attitudes and simply ‘not caring’. In return players such as McAnuff and Sendells White have become involved in angry exchanges with supporters after the matches at Ebbsfleet and Solihull, basically refuting that accusation. The bottom line is the playing side of the club’s operation is simply not up to the demands of this league and hasn’t been since the season kicked off in early August.

Of course there are mitigating circumstances when it comes to discussing the present team and club’s current woes. A playing squad cobbled together at short notice and a club needing to be re-built from it’s boot straps with 5 weeks before the season kicks off would be a test for any new set up at any level. And yet the flack is starting to fly, understandably. Recently departed head coach Steve Davis,quite frankly,was a surprise choice to become manager of this football club following a pretty prolonged and eventual demise to his tenure at Crewe Alexandra. There has also been a knock on effect to Davis’s sacking resulting in an increasing amount of people questioning Martin ling’s role as director of football citing Davis’s appointment and the quality of playing squad that the DOF assembled here last summer,too.

In my view this group was recruited with nowhere near what was required in regard to what we were about to come up against at this level. Any striker over 6ft 1′ simply cannot be defended against by the personnel that masquerade as our so called defence, yet we are coming up against this sort of player on a regular basis. Our midfield is nowhere near aggressive or combative in the opposition half to impose itself and create chances for the forwards. Up top we are simply too lightweight and wasteful. I think Mooney and McAnuff appear to have been signed on the basis that they were available and we were desperate to get some experience in when the club down to 9 teenagers during the summer,although their performances have demonstrated little to justify them being brought back here. Just as infuriating is the  glaring lack of quality delivery in regard to our own set plays. Nobody looks capable of taking a telling free kick or produce a long throw into the box. Simple basics that the team have shown little sign of producing during a game and yet vitally important at this level and It’s ironic that our own team constantly falls victim to them. Again, Ling can claim that he has been restricted as to who he could sign last summer, however, what we have ended up with is a squad that is made up of players who can rarely perform above a 6/10 on a regular basis. When you have six or seven players in your team performing at that level then it’s no surprise that we are in the bottom six of the league. On more than one occasion I have left Brisbane Road following another defeat wondering if anyone from the club had actually scouted this league and this level of opposition?

Getting the current players to performing the way Edinburgh needs them to may not be beyond the realms of possibility. I think the main problem within the set up is that Davis tried to remedy our slide with changing formations and personnel at an ever increasing rate when just trying to get them to their basic jobs properly would have been a better option. We have had(an still have) coaches with plenty of qualifications and badges but not one character big enough to drill into those wearing the shirt the importance of their individual jobs and how to do them effectively. The fact that Orient’s defenders continue to ship goals from crosses and set pieces is simply disgraceful, if we didn’t know better you would think that nobody has addressed this on the training ground going by the regularity of it. I’m not a fan of the personality of Neil Warnock, but if you look at the way he goes about his business there is a lesson there for us. He has an expectation and a simple philosophy regarding the basics of the game. Anybody who isn’t up to it or doesn’t buy into his demands usually doesn’t hang around and somebody who can do the job required is brought in. Thirty years in league management rather than the three months average of the last thirteen Orient bosses tells it’s own story in that respect.

Edinburgh has a half decent record overall in management and will need it here because getting it wrong will not only be a hammer blow to the clubs standing playing wise but would raise real questions as to how deep Nigel Travis and Kent Teague’s commitment actually runs to? The club’s major financial backer has been pretty adamant regarding building the O’s up as a ‘brand’ but being the biggest club in National league South isn’t going to put the club on the global stage and wasn’t on the original business plan. In the meantime we can only hope that Justin can turn around our fortunes in quick time. Two wins on the spin would give us a nine point cushion almost immediately and move the general atmosphere here from an utter shithouse to semi normal club virtually overnight. Please let it be soon.

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CRISIS CORNER…

Posted: March 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

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With talk of the dear old O’s folding  it’s time to take a look at how things were reported on the last time the club faced going under back in January 1995. We’ve reproduced most of Issue 82 of the ‘Leyton Orientear’ which (due to print deadlines) contained a hastily cobbled together supplement following ‘Florida’ Phil Wallace’s aborted take over at the club.

There is also a report of Mr. Wallace’s night in the supporters club where he tried to win over (and mostly failed) a sceptical audience. So pour yourself a coffee and kick back with a Belgian bun to relive these golden memories…

Phil Wallace at the supporters ClubLeyton Orientear #82

West side story..

Posted: March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

egm 2005 club letter to shareholderswest stand

Back in 2005 Barry Hearn purchased (more or less) the new west stand after it was announced that the project had run over budget and the £7 million quid paid by Bellway homes to finance the build of the west and North stand wouldn’t even pay for the full fitting out of one of the new builds. This became quite controversial at the time and an EGM  of shareholders was called on the 6th of April 2005 to rubber stamp the deal. Not that it mattered because Barry Hearn had 1.3 million shares in any case.

orient egm april 2005

 

Leyton Orient AGM 1998

Posted: March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Another delve into the archives unearths some interesting morsels regarding Orient shares. Not that they are worth anything nowadays…

AGM 1998

The Bill Roffey story…

Posted: March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

bill

Back in 2003 Orientear stalwart, Martin Strong, penned this tribute to former left back, and cult hero, Bill Roffey. And Bill, if you are free next Saturday, can you bring yourself and your boots to the ground about 2 o’clock? Cheers.

The Bill Roffey story

LEYTON ORIENT AGM 2003

Posted: March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

With Orient’s very existence on the line we delve back in time to 2003. It was this meeting that showcased the ground development plan and eventually led to Barry Hearn owning the 999 year lease on the Brisbane Road site. We can look back and laugh now. Not.

 

agm 2003

The end of days…

Posted: March 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

Nero_Rome_burning

Having been a supporter of Leyton orient for the best part of 37 years you get to know a few people in and around the club that usually have interesting things to say about the place. Normally it’s restricted to why ‘so and so’ has been dropped for today’s game or who is being transferred in and out. Standard fayre in regards to your average football club, but it happens to be the bread and butter of being a punter that rolls up on an ordinary Saturday afternoon.

And yet what we are dealing with at the moment simply isn’t the in’s and out’s of an average club. The O’s have lurched from a team that were merely ‘on the slide’ to one of on the brink of folding in such a breathtakingly short space of time it’s been difficult to keep up and comment on every facet and gory detail on how on earth we have landed in the bottom two of the league pyramid and are an unpaid tax bill away from being wound up in the high court.

Dealing with the very real threat of the club going broke first, I’d give the opinion that the writing has been on the wall for a very long time here. Before the January transfer window opened it was declared that there would be no scope to bring in new faces, which came on the back of expensive players such as Simpson and Cox being ushered out of the club and others such as Cisak, Parkes and Kennedy being transfer listed. Tellingly, there had been whispers that up until January the club had been running at a loss of an eye watering £400,000 per month and as the first month of the year started to take shape more players such as Bowery, Palmer and Alan Dunne started to depart the building mostly on loan but with the feeling that we’d never see them back at the club again.

It was around this time that missing CEO, Alessandro Angelieri, fired off a bizarre statement revealing that the club was indeed up for sale but our Charismatic owner, Mr. Becchetti – who the players had been missing, apparently – would still fund the general upkeep of the club until a buyer would be found. However, it appears that this hasn’t been entirely the case. Those of you who have followed this unfolding story for any length of time would be aware of the Leyton Orient Fans Trust (LOFT) meeting of the 2nd of March which followed on from the news of HMRC’s winding up order the previous day.That gathering revealed that the petition to wind the club up came on the back of Orient having an outstanding PAYE bill and that in relation to other creditors being paid this could only be the tip of the iceberg. Sure enough for our last home game – yesterday – against Grimsby Town, the club produced a programme which basically was a a sheet of folded A2 just to conform with F.A and EFL regulations. There was also no SKY feeds for the various televsion sets scattered around the stands and supporters club and it looks as though that’s another bill that has sat in someone’s ‘in tray’ for 3 months undisturbed. More worrying were the murmurs that the club only managed to arrange the presence of a doctor at the fixture at the last minute which is a league pre-requisite for a game to go ahead.

Those of us who were around the last time the club almost folded can recall similar scenario of constant uncertainty and living from game to game. Becchetti ‘s continuing involvement here just takes on more damaging connotations as the weeks pass. For a man giving the impression that he wants to offload his failing football club he is ignoring all requests from interested parties (as far as we can make out) and is rumoured to be on the verge of taking on an Italian serie B side where former O’s coach Liverani has just rolled up at. It is virtually impossible to second guess this guy and for all the ‘disaster recovery’ plans that are being rushed into action you simply cannot rule out Becchetti paying the tax bill (believed to be between £125-250,000)and carrying on here to the end of the season or even sell out to somebody completely out of the blue.

Away from off field traumas the ones on on the park are starting rack up and leaving Orient staring relegation out of the football league in the face. Fifteen home defeats in the league would be alarming at any level of football but with a first team made up of 7 youth players the phrase ‘men against boys’ is all too apt. The sight of Koroma and Samedo leaving the pitch in tears yesterday told it’s own story in that these boys are giving everything and have been hung out to dry by the charlatans who have administered this club over the past two years. The impending return of Massey and Kelly from suspension is just about the last throw of the dice available to Danny Webb as we enter the season’s final 10 games and how they perform alongside the youngsters will decide our fate if the high court doesn’t first. The club is six points from safety as it stands now and if the gap grows to nine by the time we play Hartlepool over the Easter period then it is as good as over.

Tomorrow evening sees an open meeting of the  Leyton Orient fans trust at Walthamstow Town hall where the latest situation as we know it will be discussed and any amended action plans put forward to the clubs supporters to digest. This should also be available to access on social media. As it stands I would say that the O’s are in deeper trouble than at any time since the second world war and the threat of the club folding is very real. Those looking at administration as a ‘way out’ and the O’s continuing ‘as you were’ in the national league or football league need to keep in mind that the final decision of it comes to it rests with the court and not the EFl or National league . As one club employee said the day of the Cheltenham home match: ‘we are entering the end game – either way’.