New Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis: We have our club back
- Credit: Archant
Dunkin’ Brands Group chief executive reveals plans for Brisbane Road club and hails Orient supporters
New Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis has insisted the club is in safe hands after completing his purchase of the National League outfit this afternoon.
The life-long supporter praised the Brisbane Road faithful in his first interview since taking over from Francesco Becchetti.
It has been a long process for the Dunkin’ Brands Group chief executive, but he is delighted to be owner of Orient.
Travis called on supporters to remain calm and not expect promotion back to the Football League immediately, but insisted the O’s are in good hands.
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He said: “I think the first thing I will say is we have got our club back. It has been a long process, but we have a great team.
“We are really excited about what we are going to do and we need to be careful we don’t get people too excited too quickly because we have a lot of building to do.
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“We are going to be realistic, but we have plans to engage the fans. We will have a fan representative on the board.
“We are determined to build a great squad and we will be making an announcement tomorrow on the football side of things.
“Today is about celebrating that we have got our club back, but I have a great consortium and in the next few days we will talk about the new board, the new people who will be supporting Leyton Orient.
“Half of them are from this side of the Atlantic and half are over there, but they are true fans and one of them is Marshall Taylor.
“He actually wrote to me out of the blue because he heard I was doing something, but I didn’t know him.
“While we search for a new CEO Marshall will be running the club and is a very capable individual.”
Travis explained his main goals for Orient now he has finally completed his takeover of the club.
He revealed the O’s will keep hold of their Chigwell training facility and aim to keep on developing the talented youngsters under contract.
“We set out this process with three goals. Goal number one was to get the club back. Goal number two was to stabilise and I don’t want anybody to get ahead of themselves,” said Travis.
“We are realistic and the National League is very competitive and we may have to be there for one, two or even three years.
“We want to build for the future and we actually have a great squad of young players who were exposed last year.
“We are going to focus on developing them and bring in some experienced talent to go along with them.
“There will be a football announcement tomorrow, but I want the fans to enjoy the moment. Don’t suddenly think we are going to win the National League because we are behind the eight ball in terms of pre-season.
“Pre-season training starts next week and I know there has been a lot of discussion about the training ground, but we will have the training ground.
“That is something we have been working on and it is a very important aspect of our operation.
“If you have players on loan from more senior clubs one of the things they look at is the quality of your coaching and training facility.
“We have a great training facility at Chigwell and I went there under the previous ownership, so that is something we have to build on because you can’t develop people without a training field and I say that as a qualified coach myself.”
Travis also discussed the people joining him at Orient and expressed his desire to be honest with the fans.
Season ticket prices should be revealed in the coming days with the National League campaign starting on August 5.
“It doesn’t matter who is chairman. This consortium is doing it for the long-term and we have several people who are putting a lot of money in,” said Travis.
“We have people in our consortium with experience of other sports, both American and English.
“We have some announcements coming out over the next few days which I know will please the fans, so we want to get them excited.
“What we want the fans to do, off the back of what was a spectacular fan performance last season, is to buy season tickets and we will have a fan event at the end of July.
“All of us will be available to meet the fans and I remember I was over at the Wycombe Wanderers game.
“A few fans asked me to buy the club and I have done what I said I was going to do, so I want all the fans to buy season tickets and they will go on sale in the next day or so.”