Liam Kelly questions if Football Association are doing enough to help Leyton Orient staff
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 April 2017
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The O’s players have been loaned half of their wages by Professional Footballers’ Association, but loyal staff remain without any wages
Leyton Orient’s vice-captain Liam Kelly believes the Football Association need to be doing more to support the staff at the struggling League Two club who have still yet to be paid their wages for March.
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) stepped in on Thursday to help out the O’s players by loaning them half of their wages for March.
But the loyal club staff continue to work despite not being paid for March and there is a genuine fear they won’t receive another penny from the club.
Kelly said: “If I am honest are the governing body doing enough to make sure this football club stays in business?
“This is a football club that has been a member for god knows how many years and the PFA have been fantastic with us players and helping us out, but for me nobody is helping the staff out.
“Who is helping the office staff and medical team and media team? I think there is a big question mark over whether enough is being done to help them.”
Orient’s employees were due their wages on Friday March 31, but after not receiving them they were told they would receive them on Thursday April 6.
Less than 24 hours before that date, the staff and players at O’s were then told they would need to wait a few more days.
Some players and staff were told to expect their wages for March last Thursday, but it was yet another broken promise.
“It has been really, really tough for all the players and the staff. Everyone is feeling it at the moment,’ said Kelly.
“As players we feel for the other staff like the media team, the medical team and the office staff because they keep on turning up every single day and make sure this football club carries on running regardless of not being paid.
“We don’t know the situation. We don’t know when we are going to get paid or if we are ever going to get paid, so full credit to the staff for making sure this football club keeps on ticking over and hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Relegation seems inevitable for Orient despite a spirited showing at Luton Town on Good Friday, which earned them a 2-2 draw.
The result occurred a day after the PFA had stepped in and loaned the O’s players half of their wages for March.
Kelly was thankful to the players’ union for helping out, but it doesn’t change a great deal for the squad in the long run.
Orient’s players will still need to pay back that money to the PFA and if the club fail to pay them it will only cause more problems further down the line.
“I don’t want people to think we’ve been paid (by the PFA) because it is a percentage and a loan that has got to be paid back,” said Kelly.
“That money is just to keep us going, to make sure we can turn up for training and so we can pay bills, but like I said the office staff are in a completely different boat and every single player feels for them.”
After a testing campaign, Kelly isn’t only leading from the front on the pitch, but he is now doing the exact same for Orient off it.