At the time of writing Leyton Orient have just been relegated out of the Football League for the first time ever ending at total of 112 years in the league.
- Francesco Becchetti
- Financial Troubles
- Pitch Invasion against Colchester United
- 2017 Summer takeover
- Related links
Francesco Becchetti is the current owner of Leyton Orient football club. Under his reign the club has been relegated twice, had 11 managers in charge. The club has racked up debts and had a winding-up petition from HMRC over unpaid taxes.
More information to come
Francesco Becchetti bought Leyton Orient in July 2014. Becchetti bought Matchroom Sport Ltd who had a 91% stake in the club. Matchroom Sport Ltd was owned by Barry Hearn who owned the club for 10 years.
The sale came just after Leyton Orient lost to Rotherham in the League One play-off final on penalties, a win would have taken Orient up to the second tier of English Football, the last time at that level was in the early 1980’s.
In the first season under Becchetti 2014-15 Leyton Orient were relegated on the last day of the season. In that season there was four managers Russell Slade (from the previous season ), Kevin Nugent (caretaker), Mauro Milanese and Fabio Liverani.
In the 2015-16 season, Orient ended up in 8th place, one place below the play-offs but 6 points away from 7th place AFC Wimbledon.
Again there was managerial change starting the season with Ian Hendon, Andy Hessenthaler had a spell as caretaker, then Kevin Nolan as player / manager with Andy Hessenthaler again as caretaker.
On the 15 of January 2016 Francesco Becchetti kicked Andy Hessenthaler at the end of the match against Portsmouth which ended 3-2 to Orient. Francesco Becchetti was finded £40,000 and given a six-match stadium ban (Detial over at http://www.thefa.com/-/media/files/pdf/the-fa-2015-16/the-fa-v-francesco-becchetti-redacted.ashx?la=en)
In the 2016-17 season Leyton Orient were relegated from the football league for the first time. Finishing bottom of the league on 36 points, they were 12 points from safety at the end of the season.
There was 6 managers in charge in the season Andy Hessenthaler, Andy Edwards (caretaker), Alberto Cavasin, Andy Edwards, Daniel Webb and Omer Riza.
On the 1st of March 2017 a winding up petition was issued, It was thought that there was an unpaid debt of £250,000 to HMRC over a tax bill as well as four other creditors.
At a hearing at the high court the club was given 12 weeks to pay of the debts in full – the petition was adjourned till the 12th of June.
On the 9th of March the EFL (English Football League) met with Leyton Orient Chief Executive, Alessandro Angelieri. At the meeting they received confirmation that funds would be made available to dismiss the winding-up petition and then fund the Club going forward.
On the 19th of April a statement from the staff at the club explained they hadn’t been paid their wages for March.
As a result on 24th of April the EPL again released a statement about the concern around the club. The same day Barry Hearn the former owner resigned as the Honorary President of the club over the issues at the club.
Five days later on the 29th of April Leyton Orient said they had paid all debts and paid their staff.
Pitch Invasion against Colchester United
Leyton Orient had been relegated the previous week after losing 0-3 at Crewe. In the game against Colchester United Orient were losing 1-3, in the 85th minute the home fans at the Matchroom Stadium entered the pitch in protest over the ownership of the club by Francesco Becchetti.
The match was postponed for two hours, fans left the ground and then the game was resumed for the final moments with no fans in the ground.
Copa90 followed fans in the last few weeks of the season including that game against Colchester, they produced the following video.
The next week Leyton Orient were facing Blackpool, concerned about another pitch invasion meant ticket sales were suspended and the overall allocation of tickets were reduced.
2017 summer takeover
On June the 22nd good news, Becchetti sold the club to a consortium lead by Nigel Travis. Becchetti sold the club with no outstanding debt and the deal ended a turbulent 3 year period as owner.
Travel a Orient fan took the role of chairman with plans for a fan to also have a place on the board.
More details on the deal http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40366597
http://www.leytonorientfanstrust.com/ – Leyton Orient Fans Trust
http://www.leytonorientear.com/ – OrienteEar Fanzine
https://soundcloud.com/orient-outlook – Orient Outlook Podcast