The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Joshua Richards

FOR­MER Ley­ton Ori­ent owner Barry Hearn says he would give un­der-pres­sure man­ager Rus­sell Slade another cou­ple of months to turn the team around – as new owner Francesco Bec­chetti sharp­ens his axe.

Slade, who led the O’s to the play-off fi­nal last term be­fore his new Ital­ian boss bankrolled the sum­mer sign­ing of rel­a­tive big names in­clud­ing Jobi McAnuff and Dar­ius Hen­der­son, earned a stay of ex­e­cu­tion with the mid­week draw at Notts County.

Hearn, who re­cently sold his 90 per cent stake to Bec­chetti, told The FLP: “The club has been a ben­e­fi­ciary of fan­tas­tic ser­vice from Rus­sell, who is an out­stand­ing man­ager and, if it was up to me, I would give him un­til Christ­mas to work with the play­ers that have come in and en­sure they adapt, be­cause the re­sults will im­prove.

“That’s easy for me to say though, be­cause I’m not pay­ing the bills. I’m just a fan now.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.What he has achieved with Ley­ton Ori­ent in the past is ir­rel­e­vant to the new owner. He wants re­sults.

“Per­haps they are ex­pect­ing too much too soon, but foot­ball is a re­sults business and I can un­der­stand their point of view.

“Not one sin­gle inch of me wishes I was still in­volved. I’m pos­si­bly the hap­pi­est ex­chair­man around. Foot­ball has changed so much over the last ten or 20 years and I’m afraid I’m prob­a­bly a bit of a di­nosaur.”

Slade had been told he would lose his job if his side had lost at Meadow Lane, much to the dis­plea­sure of the sup­port­ers.

But Hearn be­lieves those same fans had been cry­ing out for in­vest­ment in the club in re­cent times and should be care­ful what they wish for.

“They need to wake up and smell the cof­fee, this is the way they wanted it,” he added. “Francesco Bec­chetti is do­ing what ev­ery fan has asked for. He has come in and pumped big money into the club, so it is no won­der he is look­ing for re­sults.”


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