Start­ing all over can be worth pain

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE -

INew­portT’S des­per­ately sad to see the sit­u­a­tion Ley­ton Ori­ent cur­rently find them­selves in. Even af­ter yes­ter­day’s vi­tal 4-0 win at

County, the O’s are five points from safety in League Two and face a real bat­tle to avoid rel­e­ga­tion to the Na­tional League.

But that is only part of the story, as the club face a far greater bat­tle to stay in busi­ness off the pitch (see story right).

At present, the O’s fu­ture is in the hands of owner Francesco Bec­chetti and only he knows whether he will pay up the re­ported £250,000 that is re­quired by the tax­man.

There is a real dan­ger of the O’s go­ing into liq­ui­da­tion and that would be a tragedy for a club that was orig­i­nally founded by mem­bers of Glyn Cricket Club back in 1881 and have played in the Foot­ball League for more than a cen­tury.

One of the only pos­i­tive as­pects to come out of the club’s re­cent trou­bles has been the fact that Ley­ton Ori­ent sup­port­ers have come to­gether.

In­deed, the Ley­ton Ori­ent Fans’ Trust (LOFT) had been busy at work even be­fore last week’s news of the wind­ing up or­der came to light.

They are weigh­ing up all the op­tions open to them, from po­ten­tially buy­ing the club as part of a con­sor­tium to set­ting up a ‘phoenix club’.

While we can un­der­stand why the sup­port­ers would not want to un­der­take the lat­ter op­tion, largely be­cause it would mean start­ing off low down the Non-League pyra­mid, it isn’t some­thing that should be dis­missed. One of our other publi­ca­tions is The NonLeague Pa­per and it has fol­lowed the for­tunes of those clubs that have started afresh over the years, most no­tably AFC Wim­ble­don.

Yes, it is a long road, but the Dons have shown what you can achieve over a pe­riod of time. And there is some­thing to be said for fans run­ning a club pru­dently and within its means.

The in­di­vid­ual, big-money owner may not be the best pol­icy – as the O’s have found out with Bec­chetti.

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