Mixed response to Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust’s ‘fit and proper Orient test’ proposal for any new owner of club
- Credit: Archant
The supporters’ trust released a statement on Sunday, which listed a set of basic principles which they believe any prospective buyer should commit to
Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust have received a mixed response to their call for any new owner of the Brisbane Road club to face a ‘fit and proper Orient test’ with former chairman Barry Hearn criticising the move.
The supporters’ trust released a statement on Sunday night, which listed a set of basic principles which they believe any prospective buyer of the club should be able to commit to.
While the move has been welcomed by a large chunk of O’s fans, some have put forward reservations about the tone and timing of the statement.
Current chairman Francesco Becchetti met with two interest buyers last week to discuss the sale of the club, but no further news has emerged since.
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Ex-chairman Hearn expressed his views on the potential ‘fit and proper Orient test’ and conceded while he doesn’t oppose the concept, he disagrees with the timing and implied threat that supporters may not be supportive unless conditions are met.
LOFT’s statement read: “It is already clear that the club must change ownership soon in order to move forward and plan for next season. Once that happens, any new owner – whoever that may be – will have LOFT’s initial welcome.
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“That owner must however expect to come under scrutiny from all supporters – not just LOFT – about their reasons for purchasing Leyton Orient, their intentions and their plans.
“Given the way Leyton Orient has been grossly mismanaged since 2014, the Board of LOFT wishes to set out some basic principles that we believe any prospective buyer of the club should be able to commit to, to show that it is ‘fit and proper’ to own and manage the club in the interests of all supporters.
“Having suffered the tragic and entirely avoidable decline of their football club in the past three years, Orient fans simply will not tolerate another owner whose actions do not match their words.
“Any new owner who has Leyton Orient’s best interests at heart should therefore have no problem committing to the above test of a fit and proper owner of the club.
“In contrast to the FA/EFL rules with respect to eligibility, LOFT pledges to remain ever vigilant of how the club is being run, and reserves the right to withhold its support from any buyer who might, for whatever reason, have any of the above brought into question.”
The reaction to LOFT’s ‘fit and proper Orient test’ proposal dived O’s supporters and saw several express their views on social media.