CRISIS CORNER…

Posted: March 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

312_b

 

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

Advertisements

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’.

A little Rebellion is…

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

thomas-jefferson-a-little-rebellion-quote_thumb2

A good thing, according to a letter written 1787 by deceased president of the United states of America, Thomas Jefferson. Whether it turns out that way here at Leyton Orient remains to be seen.

I suppose the the argument whether we back Becchetti come what may due to the finance that he has pumped into the club is now going to put to the test now that it is being reported that ‘el presidente’ is looking to sell up and that there is no more money to bring in players to bolster our pitiful squad in the looming dogfight at the bottom of the league. Those blaming this on LOFT for organising a demo against the owner -which has apparently brought about this crisis-  are also pointing fingers at the players and various managers that have come and gone here over the past 30 months and, to be fair, those parties have more than played their part our demise both individually and collectively.

But let’s get it right here, LOFT were coming out against the way things were being done here first and foremost. I should think many of the supporters who were waving red cards during the Blackpool match just wanted Becchetti not to be as reckless when it came to hiring and firing coaches and to, basically, wind his neck in and change the culture that has seen the O’s labelled as ‘Britain’s craziest club’ in some sections of the media. And yet when these concerns were raised at the fans forum meeting with Miceli and Gagliardi they were pretty much dismissed out of hand. In fact, they insisted that the O’s remained a well run outfit and that the players were at the heart of the problem. Considering that Gagliardi replaced Dean Cox (for whatever reason) with N’nomo, Janse and Benedicic you at the very least have to question that assumption. The club has developed a clear reputation for freezing players out as soon as a perceived problem arises and in effect make a bad situation worse for all concerned. In the worst case interfering with a substitution being made by the head coach while the game is in progress, although I’d blame Hessenthaler for being too gutless to stop that particular nonsense in its tracks by just telling those responsible where to get off at the time. I suppose it’s a little like actors playing villains on screen and stage. The key thing to bear in mind is that no matter how deranged the character is and acts, in his eyes, he isn’t doing anything wrong.

The last twelve months have been a train wreck here at first team level which is saying something following on from the previous eighteen. Becchetti has made four changes of head coach in that time where Cavasin and Nolan were old fashioned ‘punts'(although Nolan might have worked as just a straight forward manager role and not player) and Hessenthaler took the job for a pay rise knowing that he would get fired despite covering for his boss more times that was healthy for his own reputation. Now Andy Edwards has been handed the poison chalice and despite a decent performance at the recent meet the manager evening (as well as getting two home league wins under his belt) he is discovering that changing the O’s on field fortunes with this squad is going to be just as tough has Cavasin found out during his brief tenure.

In the programme notes for the Crawley game CEO Angelieri (if he actually wrote them) enthused about the number of youngsters being signed up to full professional status as proof of the ongoing commitment of the president to the Orient cause which is a tad surprising as he’d stayed away from the club for a month citing the crowds’  growing negative reaction to his presence at games. However, the inclusion of Judd and Dalby did perk the squad up and even managed to get the O’s support more on side with the team. I got the impression that Massey’s form improved with Judd alongside him and it was typical Orient luck that Dalby got crocked after a debut goal v Cambridge six days later. Josh Koroma has been blooded and had a decent first 45 minutes against Barnet but the bottom line is that how matter how good these kids are this isn’t really the time to saddle them with the job of keeping us out of trouble at the foot of the table. Individual mistakes have constantly dogged us this season and it appears that whoever is placed in charge simply cannot eradicate them. Cisak and Parkes’ gift to Barnet’s centre half for the opener in our last home game was pathetic, even going by this season but it would be unfair to single them out when collectively and individually the team looks hell bent on shooting itself in the foot game in and game out.

So where does all this leave us? At the time of writing nothing is being said officially about the club being up for sale but Edwards interview after the Barnet defeat didn’t do much to raise hopes in relation to bringing in new faces while the injury list lengthens and the fixtures come thick and fast.  We could even find that Sammy Moore ends up back in favour here and starting (if Collins departs) after a loan spell at Dover that looked certain end in a permanent move. Although it appears that there is no money to spend (unless we sell Simpson – who isn’t going to play another game for us by the looks of it) there is part of me that feels that the £12 million quid that Becchetti has lent the club during his time here has got us precisely nowhere and in fact has been more of a millstone to the people involved in running the football set up at the club. Being  a coach constantly scrutinised by an owner and associates with little  in the way of footballing credentials and the constant threat of being replaced after three bad results has played a massive part in the situation the club finds itself today. It’s a scenario that Becchetti has gone on record as saying that he prefers work by (although he’s not too keen on being scrutinised himself when it comes to it) but it is that very thing that has done the worst damage here.

As for Andy Edwards the only bright spot following our latest defeat that might help him is with Becchetti looking to sell he might get a chance to turn things around without too much interference from upstairs for the time being. Unfortunately, that’s as good as it’s going to get for now and you get the feeling that we are all going to be in for a rough ride until the end of the season.  Meanwhile it’s ironic that ex manager, John Sitton, is promoting his book in the supporters club later this month where his disastrous meltdown season of 1994/5  will feature heavily I should think. Maybe Andy should pop along and buy a copy to get a taste of what could be coming his way in the near future, although I have a feeling that he’s witnessed more than enough here over the past three years to write one of his own.