Omer Riza: Not being paid has affected everybody at Leyton Orient

PUBLISHED: 17:53 22 April 2017

Leyton Orient boss Omer Riza issues instructions from the touchline against Hartlepool United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient boss Omer Riza issues instructions from the touchline against Hartlepool United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's 112-year stay in the Football League has come to an end after their relegation was confirmed this afternoon at Crewe Alexandra

Omer Riza admitted everyone at Leyton Orient has been affected by the recent issues at the Brisbane Road club after their relegation was confirmed following a 3-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.

The O’s conceded three times in the first half to see their 112-year stay in the Football League come to an end.

Orient’s players and staff are still yet to receive their wages for March and it has taken its toll on everyone associated with the E10 outfit.

Riza: “Not being paid has affected everybody at the club and there is no doubt about that. It is a disappointing time.

“Some people deal with it in different ways and it has unsettled everyone and people can’t focus on their jobs properly.

“It has been tough and it’s been a big factor, but the whole season has been a factor and the boys have still gone out there and put in some good performances recently.

“The young lads have showed they can play and today if we are looking at the football, we didn’t do enough things right to get a result.”

Now that O’s relegation has been confirmed, it is hoped some clarity will occur with regard to the ownership of the club.

Back in January chairman Francesco Becchetti revealed he was willing to listen to offers for Orient.

And yet there has been no news about the club being up for sale since, but Riza hopes relegation may see more buyers come forward.

He added: “I think if you are looking at it from a buyers perspective – knowing what league the club is in does help.

“You can then plan and look forward, so maybe now this has happened maybe some news will come out and things will change.”

The current Orient boss is going to try and meet with Becchetti next week and find out what the future holds.

Riza hasn’t met with the Italian since Friday April 7, he said: “I’d like to go meet the chairman and have a chat.

“I want to see what the situation is because we have young players who have been thrown in the deep end all season, but now the next two games could possibly be a chance to work on things with them.”

Orient were without vice-captain Liam Kelly for the match at Gresty Road and it was a big blow.

Kelly missed out with a calf injury and O’s struggled to control proceedings at Crewe without him.

“We had to have a scan on Liam’s calf yesterday and it showed he had a slight pull, so if you have that it is hard to play,” said Riza.

“It was tough losing him because he is a big miss, so we put Teddy (Mezague) in there to secure things and make us solid against an experienced team.

“Our lack of experience has been an issue and we then lost ‘Mikey’ at half time because he couldn’t see properly.

“He took a knock to the eye and it was too much of a risk to keep playing him, so I took him off and we had to deal with that.”

It was another bad day for Orient, but the writing had been on the wall for a while and now the focus must turn to the future and the ownership of the club.

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