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Leyton Orient Fans' Trust
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Fans' Forum meeting - November 2015
11/17/2015

Notes of the Leyton Orient Fans' Forum - 12 November 2015

Present:

Football Club: Alessandro Angelieri (CEO), Vito Miceli (Operations Manager), Steve Dixon (Commercial Manager)

Supoporter Liaison Officer: Keren Harrison

Fans' Representatives: James Cassidy (LOFT), Tony Roome (LOSC), Mat Roper (Pandamonium Fanzine)

  1. SLO Update

    It was confirmed that Keren Harrison had now been formally appointed to the SLO post and that information about her role and activities would shortly appear on the club website. Keren's contact email is k.harrison@leytonorient.net she tweets as @LeytonOrientSLO and has installed a 'question box' just inside the door of LOSC for anyone who wants to leave comments or questions. The appointment was welcomed by all present.

  2. Meeting with the President

    There had been discussion, earlier in the year, about the possibility of Mr Becchetti meeting with the supporters but this had not happened. The CEO explained that it was difficult to get Mr Becchetti to a meeting in light of his schedule and availability. Nevertheless, he undertook to raise the matter again with the President and see if he would be able to attend a formal meeting with supporters, or would be prepared to take part in a 'Meet the President' evening perhaps after either the LOFT or LOSC AGMs.

  3. Parking Issues

    The meeting noted that Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) had been implemented on some roads around the ground, extending parking restrictions for non-residents into the evening and on Saturdays. It is clear, from a LOFT survey, that a significant number of our supporters travel to matches by car (from the A10/M11/A12 corridors) and additional parking restrictions would be a significant problem for many of them. Part of the concern is that the current CPZs will concentrate parking in areas where it is permitted, leading to future pressures for an extension to the current CPZs.

    Recent meetings had taken place between the club and parking administration officers, but little progress had been made. It was noted that, in past meetings, LBWF Council leadership had made it clear to the club that they were committed to Orient remaining in the area and would try and assist in any way they could this matter will therefore be raised with them. Ideas to be put to them include possible relaxation of CPZ rules on match days and CPZ parking by non-residents at a small charge.

    There has also been consideration of what options the club has for the provision of car parking facilities, and this is ongoing.

  4. Ground Issues

    Provision of scoreboard:
    The club have been looking at various locations for a scoreboard, including in the corners of the stadium and on stand roofs. It is likely that the cost of installation will exceed the cost of the equipment and there are resource implications for its operation. Thus, the costs are significant and the club is investigating funding options through commercial sponsorship.

    Overcrowding in West Stand tea bar/toilet areas:
    The supporters explained the problems caused by the bad design of these areas, particularly at the south end of the West Stand, at half time. This problem was noted by the club and they will investigate any opportunities to reduce the overcrowding. In the short term and on a trial basis, a hot drinks stall will be positioned at the south end of the West Stand in the vicinity of the disabled supporters' area - to try and cater for those just requiring a hot drink. Whether this will be sufficient to have any meaningful impact on the overcrowding remains to be seen.

    In a response to a supporter's question, the CEO said that he knew of no plans for the President to take up his option to buy the ground next year.

  5. Squad Budgeting

    In response to questions, the club confirmed that stringent budgetary controls are in place this season in an attempt to control the losses the club is making. Nevertheless, the CEO noted that this year's club budget is in the top three for League 2, according to figures supplied by the Football League, though this is clearly not evenly distributed.

    At present, the manager is content with the squad size and is able to supplement the squad with loan players when required. The situation was recently discussed in depth in a meeting between the President and the manager and will be kept under review into the transfer window in January.

    It was confirmed that Jobi McAnuff remains a member of the playing staff and that Orient have received no approaches from other clubs for his services.

  6. Theo's Club

    There have been numerous complaints this season about the almost total lack of support provided to Theo's Club and the children who are members. This was accepted by the club and future plans to address the situation were outlined. Included in these plans are new membership packs and the possible conversion of unused areas of the East Stand which could be used for Theo's Club members before a game. Any such conversion would require a budget, but it is hoped that volunteer efforts may assist. The club would like to make more use of volunteers, and is looking at opportunities for involvement.

    The meeting considered various other options, from changing the half-time routine through the use of Coronation Gardens, or even seeking to close a short stretch of Oliver Road before matches, for pre-game activities and these will be investigated by the club.

    On the issue of wider community involvement (as a marketing exercise) the club agreed to look at opportunities to take part in more community events in the outer reaches of our catchment area. Any supporters becoming aware of community days etc. can let the club (Steve Dixon) know and they will consider attendance.

  7. Future Plans

    The supporters asked about the potential effect of Mr Becchetti's current legal situation on the club. There are no problems with all the UK assets. He is working hard for his defence against the Albanian Governement. The CEO stressed that the President's aims (restated to the manager at their recent meeting mentioned earlier) are still that Orient get promoted back to League 1 at the end of this season and that the Championship remains the long term target for the club.

    Financially, it is expected that the club will make a significant loss again this year but absolutely not like the last year. The intention is try to organise a shareholders' meeting at the end of the season.

The next Forum meeting is scheduled for 11 February 2016 at 3pm.





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