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Are Leyton Orient starting to plan for future? It seems so!

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 May 2017

Leyton Orient defender Michael Clark gets above Cambridge United forward Uche Ikpeazu to head clear (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient defender Michael Clark gets above Cambridge United forward Uche Ikpeazu to head clear (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

O’s chairman Francesco Becchetti has started paying off his debt. The real question now is why?

A banner at Brisbane Road reads: We want our club backA banner at Brisbane Road reads: We want our club back

Amid all the madness on Saturday, post-match comments by Leyton Orient boss Omer Riza appeared to shed some light on what may take place at Brisbane Road next season.

The 37-year-old revealed O’s were in talks with third-year scholar Michael Clark about offering him a professional contract.

Now with one match left to play in the 2016/17 campaign, it would appear reasonably normal for Orient to be planning for the future.

But nothing we have seen over the past eight months at Brisbane Road has been the ordinary or expected.

A lot has happened over the past week at O’s and it leaves you pondering what the future holds for the soon-to-be National League club.

We found out on Friday afternoon, after some concern in the morning, that all of the full-time staff had been paid their wages for April.

And it appears the players have also received their wages, although it is understood they haven’t been paid bonuses they are due.

Then on Saturday, hours before the match with Colchester United, a statement from the club revealed they had no outstanding debt to HM Revenue and Customs, but we knew that anyway.

Leyton Orient fans invade the Brisbane Road pitch during Saturday's game with Colchester United and call for chairman Francesco Becchetti to leave the clubLeyton Orient fans invade the Brisbane Road pitch during Saturday's game with Colchester United and call for chairman Francesco Becchetti to leave the club

The more telling information was finding out that O’s chairman Francesco Becchetti has started paying off his debt.

We discovered on March 20 in the High Court that Orient owed money to at least five creditors, but the list is a lot longer.

However, it is believed the club have settled their debt with programme printers Bishops Printers and programme designers Alchemy Creations.

Centre Circle Event Management Ltd were one of the creditors to come forward on March 20 and reveal they were owed money.

The company provides matchday stewards and it now seems any outstanding debt to them has also been settled by Orient.

Slowly, but surely, the club is seemingly doing what was promised in the High Court – paying off all debts to creditors.

There are still plenty of others who have not received what they are owed, but the real question on the aforementioned information is why are Orient now planning for the future and settling their debts?

You would imagine it is down to one of two reasons. Either Becchetti is planning on sticking around, or he has an agreement in place with a buyer to clear all of his debt in order to sell the club.

Leyton Orient fans invade the Brisbane Road pitch during Saturday's game with Colchester United and call for chairman Francesco Becchetti to leave the clubLeyton Orient fans invade the Brisbane Road pitch during Saturday's game with Colchester United and call for chairman Francesco Becchetti to leave the club

I’m sure I speak for every single Orient fan when I say I desperately hope it is the latter and if that was the case then it would mean O’s could hope for a brighter future.

But it could yet be the former and after close to three years of failures, that will no doubt send a chill down the spines of the Brisbane Road faithful.

York City suffered relegation from the National League on Saturday, one year on from finishing bottom of League Two.

Orient will end this campaign in last place and even though back-to-back relegations appears unlikely, it is a possibility if mistakes are again made over the next few months.

The O’s recruitment process this season has been terrible and so many poor choices have been made by the board, especially in 2017.

If Orient are to get up from their knees then clarity is required moving forward and the fans need to know what is going on. It is the least they deserve after this awful campaign.


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