Giving Orient fans a voice
Leyton Orient Fans' Trust
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"The club's infrastructure has been decimated"

"The club's infrastructure has been decimated."

These were the damning words from former club CEO Matt Porter, from a statement read out on his behalf at LOFT's AGM held on Monday 25 April.

Porterís statement, quoted in full below with his permission and in the Chairís Report, highlights "the lack of patience and respect" that has been troubling LOFT for some time. He also noted his belief that "the strength of a Fansí Trust is critical for the future of our club".

His insightful analysis of the situation at the club should worry every Leyton Orient fan about their club's future.

As a result of the discussion at the AGM about the club's current situation and the recent protest, LOFT's committee will be consulting more widely with all members over the close season about its next steps. In the meantime we welcome the reported meeting between Francesco Becchetti and Supporters Club members scheduled for late July, and hope that it marks another step in rebuilding engagement between the club's owner and supporters.

Once formal AGM matters were concluded (see below), we were very happy to have O's legends Gary Alexander and John Mackie as guests for a Q&A session Ė thank you to both of them for giving up their time, and as always to the Supporters Club for their time and hospitality in hosting our AGM.

Statement by Matt Porter, ex-CEO of Leyton Orient Football Club

"Sorry I can't take up your invitation to be with you tonight.

As we come towards the end of a second successive disappointing season, I think now more than at any time in its history the strength of a Fans' Trust is critical for the future of our club.

During my time running Orient I always enjoyed a cordial, two-way line of communication with LOFT and other supporters groups and it is a shame that like so many of the values we deemed important back then that this has dissolved.

I am concerned for the future of Orient under its current ownership.

The backroom appointments made by the new regime have simply not been good enough and the identity of the manager is almost irrelevant given the lack of patience and respect with which they have been systematically treated.

This coupled with the drain of talented staff who have moved on to pastures new after being unable to deal with the untenable working conditions left for them has meant the club's infrastructure has been decimated.

Please don't turn your anger towards them or the players but instead focus on the root of the problem...when the club's ownership changed we were told the new regime believed in the same values we promoted: community, family, stability, professionalism, yet they have practised nothing of the same.

There was huge, albeit misplaced, investment in the playing side, but without strong support for the structure of the club, this will never achieve success.

What needs to happen now is for the Club to understand how you, the lifeblood of Leyton Orient, feel about the situation. You can see what is happening and I'm sure what has emerged in the media in recent weeks makes all the stories you have heard since the start of last season easier to more than at any time you need to present a united front and take heart from the fan power that has been shown at Charlton, Leeds and elsewhere to show that you will not be brushed aside without a battle."

AGM business

The AGM received the Treasurer's Report and Chair's Report. Four committee members stood down at the end of their current terms, all stood for re-election and were elected by the meeting; Paul Arnup, James Cassidy, Tom Davies and Jonathan Kaye.
Three members stood for election to the committee and were elected by the meeting; Anna Fleming, Dave Knight and Mat Roper. The committee page will be updated in due course.

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