The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Lyons

LEY­TON Ori­ent fans have re­peated their calls for owner Francesco Bec­chetti to sell up in the af­ter­math of the club’s rel­e­ga­tion from the EFL.

Last week’s 3-0 de­feat at Crewe con­signed the O’s to the drop and means their 112-year ten­ure in the Foot­ball League will come to an end.

How­ever, supp­porters fear for the very fu­ture of the east Lon­don club, with Ital­ian busi­ness­man Bec­chetti, who has over­seen two rel­e­ga­tions in three years, at the helm.

The O’s face a windin­gup pe­ti­tion in the High Court on June 12 and staff had to en­dure lengthy de­lays to re­ceive their March salaries.

Ley­ton Ori­ent Fans’ Trust (LOFT) vice-chair­man Tom Davies told The

FLP: “Rel­e­ga­tion has been com­ing for a long time, but it doesn’t di­min­ish the pain. Peo­ple felt an­gry and up­set after the game last week. Some came away in tears. It has hit home that we are go­ing into Non-League for the first time.

“How­ever, there are big­ger bat­tles to be de­cided and the own­er­ship of the club is one of them.

“Bec­chetti needs to talk se­ri­ously with in­ter­ested par­ties, sell the club at a rea­son­able price and just go. There’s no point in him stay­ing around. His pres­ence is poi­sonous.”

LOFT have raised £140,000 to­wards their tar­get of £250,000 and hope it will give them a say in the club’s fu­ture, which should be­come clearer once the High Court hear­ing takes place.

The club is­sued a short state­ment yes­ter­day, stat­ing that all salaries have been paid in full and there is no out­stand­ing debt to HRMC.

Meanwhile, the EFL say they are ‘ex­cep­tion­ally con­cerned’ about Ori­ent’s sit­u­a­tion.

“While Ley­ton Ori­ent may have been rel­e­gated to the Na­tional League, the EFL will con­tinue to do ev­ery­thing it can to en­sure the fu­ture of the club is se­cured,” they added.

UNPOPULAR: Bec­chetti

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