Leyton Orient's chief executive Alessandro Angelieri backs squad to avoid relegation, but insists promoting youth is key
PUBLISHED: 10:29 20 January 2017
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Brisbane Road club release statement reflecting on last two years and recent events at the east London club like transfer listing experienced players
Leyton Orient’s chief executive Alessandro Angelieri has insisted the club remain determined to avoid relegation from the Football League, but they are keen to keep showing faith in young players hence the recent departures of several experienced members of the squad.
The O’s released a statement this morning with the Italian defending president Francesco Becchetti’s time in charge of the Brisbane Road outfit.
It was revealed one takeover offer had been rejected and bizarrely discussed the lack of desire from some previous players at Orient.
The statement read: “We are fully confident that we will remain in the Football League come the end of the season, but if (relegation) was to unfortunately happen we will keep our current policy in place of promoting and showing faith in young players.
“In terms of funds available, it’s not the club that has to give guarantees to Andy Edwards, but vice versa. Andy can count on prospects who he has helped nurture like Sam Sargeant, Sandro Semedo, Myles Judd, Sam Dalby and Tristan Abrahams who has scored 20 goals for the youth team this season, as well as great young talents like Paul McCallum and Gavin Massey who are players with fantastic qualities, and have a massive desire that was lacking from players in the past like Darius Henderson, Jobi McAnuff and Jordan Bowery.”
The statement didn’t just single out Bowery, but also Jay Simpson for his lack of goals in 2016 and insisted that was why he was sold to Philadelphia Union.
While the protest by Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust was also mentioned and Becchetti believes his recent absence from the club has had an impact on the players.
Orient’s statement from Angelieri continued: “The actions of the club over the past two and a half years have always been in good faith and that can never be doubted.
“A squad without future was inherited, and has been completely renewed with it today including a number of talents aged between 17 and 24,
“Mr Becchetti did not like the fan protests because at the beginning of the season everyone, supporters included, praised the club for their summer transfer business. Thereafter Mr Becchetti doesn’t play on Saturday.
“I think that within common sense, Mr Becchetti will continue to fund the club, though appropriate offers for the club will be considered. One offer has been received, but it was not acceptable for a number of reasons.
“In regards to player departures, since last February Jay Simpson had scored six goals, and from last summer he had been trying to leave the club. Andy Edwards rightly decided to leave him out of the squad because of his lack of commitment to Leyton Orient.
“Jordan Bowery’s contribution during the first half of the season was imperceptible, so his departure can be considered neutral, while Alan Dunne was out of the plans under both Andy Hessenthaler and Andy Edwards.
“I think that my absence due to ill health could have had some negative effect, but I believe even further that the absence of Mr Becchetti during the last three months has had a more negative impact on the squad.
“His personal business did not allow him to be close to the team, when he would usually come to the training ground every Friday and to the games on a Saturday. Mr Becchetti has a great charisma and the players definitely feel his absence.”
A positive to come from this statement is that the club are finally trying to communicate with supporters and certain key issues have been addressed.
It can now be accepted that Orient are up for sale, although only for the right price, and Becchetti will not stop funding the club therefore administration shouldn’t be a threat.
But, the decision to call out the likes of Bowery and Simpson plus previous former players is bizarre and even more puzzling is the fact they believe the youth team can save O’s from relegation.
While the academy continue to produce a number of talented teenagers, to throw them into a relegation battle is asking a huge amount and the consequences could be fatal.
Orient’s board seem to think relegation would not be the worst end result this season, but it almost certainly is and everything needs to be done to prevent O’s finishing in the bottom two come May.
It appears clear now Edwards will have to rely on the youth for the rest of the campaign and the hope will be that somehow they can keep the east London club up.