Becchetti Ruining Leyton Orient

When Barry Hearn sold Leyton Orient to Francesco Becchetti in 2014, it was with the understanding that the club would reach the next level. Unfortunately it has been quite the opposite for the club.

Becchetti is yet another owner to completely cripple a club. The likes of Coventry City, Portsmouth, Torquay United and Leyton Orient have suffered more than most. Barry Hearn is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the club, however he does remain their honorary president after owning the club for 19 years.  Hearn like the rest of the Leyton Orient fans has watched the club endure a torrid season, the club are on the brink of falling out of the Football League. Francessco Becchetti’s poor ownership is mainly responsible for where the club find themselves at the moment.

Leyton Orient have seen a total of ten managers come and go in three seasons. This season the club also went through an adjourned winding up order and the staff are yet to be paid for the month of March. The playing staff have been supported by the PFA, who have loaned a precentage of each individual’s monthly salary to help them through this difficult period. Such is the state of the club though, it remains to be seen if/when the playing staff can repay the loan.

A 2-1 win against Hartlepool last time out, kept Leyton Orient’s slim hopes of avoiding the drop alive. The match was played out to a background of protests against the owner. At the end of the game, supporters gathered on the pitch to vent their feelings against the Italian owner.

Barry Hearn has distanced himself from retaking control and Brisbane Road, Hearn has offered background assistance to any interested parties. It is as clear as day that something must be done, Leyton Orient is a great club – It’s fans do not deserve this. The loyal fans of any club should not have watch their beloved club be crippled by owners that simply do not have a clue how to run a football club.

We can look at Portsmouth as an example of coming back from the brink. Portsmouth have had a number of owners who can be classed as Mickey Mouse owners, ones that were nowhere near fit to run a football club. Portsmouth are now owned by their fans and have recently celebrated promotion to League One.

Leyton Orient can look at Portsmouth and know there is hope, fans of the club will be around for a lot longer than any owner. The fans are the heart and soul of the club, unfortunately some owners forget that, or do not realise it. Although he has distanced himself, I would urge Barry Hearn to step back in, Orient need someone that cares about the club at the very top. It is clear Becchetti does not care about Leyton Orient or the their future.

More measures must be put in place to stop owners who cripple clubs, from taking over. It is heartbreaking for the fans to see it unfold, unfit owners are a plague of the beautiful game. A plague that must stopped as soon as possible.

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