Michael Collins will make final decision on Leyton Orient future over next couple of weeks
- Credit: Archant
Experienced midfielder hails incredible support and loyalty of O’s fans and knows club can return to better times
Michael Collins will take his time before deciding whether to stay at Leyton Orient, but has praised the supporters of the club and insisted the Brisbane Road outfit can return to the Football League as long as a plan is put in place by whoever is in charge.
The 31-year-old was one of only seven O’s players offered a contract extension recently with at least 15 members of the 2016/17 squad set to move on this summer.
But Orient’s future remains up in the air with the club set to appear in the High Court on June 12 and despite talk of a potential takeover, Francesco Becchetti is still currently chairman.
Collins said: “I found out about my contract offer through a letter, but it is not a huge thing how you find out and the important thing is that everybody is clear now, from a personal point of view, what the situation is at the club.
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“People can now make plans, as I imagine they were doing anyway, and know they have had contact from Leyton Orient, but it is not a decision I will be rushing into and it is the same with the contact that has been made elsewhere.
“I go on holiday today for a couple of weeks, but I am sure at some point during the holiday I will come to a final decision on what I want to do and basically take it from there.
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“It was a disappointing season, but it hasn’t tainted my view on that club because I think it is great and I genuinely saw so much promise.
“Things went against us, but you can see it is one of those clubs where if there was the right sort of stability and a plan in place then it could quickly find itself knocking on the door of the Championship again and that’s how crazy football is.
“The fan base is there and the loyalty of the fans is incredible. I have never seen anything like it in my career and they had nothing but positivity from the moment I walked through the door and given the circumstances that was quite incredible.
“Credit to them, so there is a lot of things at the club which tick the boxes, but there needs to be a clear idea of where the club is heading and more so who is going to be involved and what are their plans for the club going forward.”
Orient boss Omer Riza confirmed at the weekend that he had no say on who is released or retained by the club.
Therefore it is understood Becchetti is making the decisions about whether to offer new contracts to players or not.
Collins admitted nobody was sure what was going to happen once the campaign ended, but is pleased to now have the offer a new deal on the table.
Football League rules state clubs must inform players of their intention to offer a new contract by the third Saturday in May if their season has finished.
But even though Collins is happy to have the option to stay at Orient, he remains unsure what the ambitions are for the club moving forward.
He added: “I don’t think anybody truly knew what to expect because the season kind of finished and we all went away with not a lot of information.
“Obviously we were all waiting to see what was going to happen and even up to now I am still not sure of the intentions of the club going forward.
“We hear whispers of a potential takeover, but us as players probably know less than some of the fans and it is the same for the majority of people who work at the club.
“It is a little bit up in the air, but certainly for me I am at an age where I just sit back and I don’t rush into things anymore.
“I am going to weigh up the options on the table because there is no denying at this stage of the season conversations are going on all the time between players and clubs, but contact was made by Leyton Orient, so that’s something I will be considering with my partner.
“From my point of view, I think a big thing in Leyton Orient’s favour is that it is a big club and I can’t deny that. Even though it was a difficult season I saw how good the club can be and how good it should be.”