Orient players and staff release statement pleading for pay and communication from controversial owner Francesco Becchetti

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DIS-ORIENTING

League Two’s bottom side lurch to another crisis as staff complain of broken promises and poor communication

LEYTON ORIENT staff have hit out at the running of the club under despised owner Francesco Becchetti.

Workers are still yet to be paid their March wages and last night put together a statement expressing their “huge concern” over the lack of communication from Becchetti and the club’s directors.

Reuters

Leyton Orient fans are united in their opposition to owner Francesco Becchetti

Rock-bottom League Two side Orient were in the high court last month after HMRC issued a winding up order over unpaid taxes.


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Those debts were paid but Becchetti was given until June 12 either to pay off money owed to other creditors or sell the club.

Orient’s chief executive Alessandro Angelieri claimed in court on March 20 that Becchetti would invest £1million over the next eight to ten weeks.

Yet unpaid staff are now questioning whether the 51-year-old will make good on his promise.

An Orient staff statement read: “As staff of Leyton Orient Football Club we have become hugely concerned by the lack of communication issued by owner Francesco Becchetti and its directors.

Orient owner Francesco Becchetti is attracting more and more criticism from supporters

Reuters

Orient owner Francesco Becchetti is attracting more and more criticism

Francesco Becchetti is one of the most controversial figures in English football

Getty Images

Francesco Becchetti is one of the most controversial figures in English football

“Having not received our wages for the month of March 2017, staff were told to expect payment on April 6 due to an issue regarding the club’s bank account.

“However, on the eve of the date promised, staff were informed that they would have to wait a ‘few days more’ for their wages.

“Following this a formal grievance was raised by club staff in line with the club’s policies and procedures, though to this date it remains unacknowledged with no indication as to when, or if, we are to be paid.”

Orient supporters are fed up with the situation under owner Francesco Becchetti

Reuters

Orient supporters are fed up with the situation under owner Francesco Becchetti

Staff, to their eternal credit, are continuing to work in their roles despite no knowing when they will next be paid as the O’s brace themselves for relegation out of the Football League.

The statement continued: “At the time of this statement we are now in the 19th day of April, and with our next payment of wages due in nine days time, we appeal to the club’s directors to communicate the current situation and provide us with an update regarding our pay.



“As reported last week, the playing staff were supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association who kindly loaned a percentage of each individual’s monthly salary to help them through this difficult time.

“This has been greatly appreciated however the players now have a debt hanging over their heads of which they remain unsure as to when, or even if, they can repay the amount given to them.

Leyton Orient fans have stepped up protests against owner Francesco Becchetti

Reuters

Leyton Orient fans have stepped up protests against owner Francesco Becchetti

“The winding up order issued at the start of March saw the club taken to the High Court, and on March 20 it was claimed that the amount of £1 million is to be put into the club to ensure all debts that have been generated over recent months would be paid in full by June 12 when the club are next due to appear in court.

“With debts continuing to mount and us as staff not being paid our contractual wage, it raises questions as to whether the directors are on course to meet this arrangement.”

The statement in full

As staff of Leyton Orient Football Club we have become hugely concerned by the lack of communication issued by owner Francesco Becchetti and its directors.

Having not received our wages for the month of March 2017, staff were told to expect payment on April 6 due to an issue regarding the club’s bank account. However, on the eve of the date promised, staff were informed that they would have to wait a ‘few days more’ for their wages.

Following this a formal grievance was raised by club staff in line with the club’s policies and procedures, though to this date it remains unacknowledged with no indication as to when, or if, we are to be paid.

Despite their concern club staff have continued in their respective roles, rallying behind the team in their bid to preserve Leyton Orient’s proud English Football League association.

At the time of this statement we are now in the 19th day of April, and with our next payment of wages due in nine days time, we appeal to the club’s directors to communicate the current situation and provide us with an update regarding our pay.

As reported last week, the playing staff were supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) who kindly loaned a percentage of each individual’s monthly salary to help them through this difficult time. This has been greatly appreciated however the players now have a debt hanging over their heads of which they remain unsure as to when, or even if, they can repay the amount given to them.

The winding up order issued at the start of March saw the club taken to the High Court, and on March 20 it was claimed that the amount of £1 million is to be put into the club to ensure all debts that have been generated over recent months would be paid in full by June 12 when the club are next due to appear in court.

With debts continuing to mount and us as staff not being paid our contractual wage, it raises questions as to whether the directors are on course to meet this arrangement.

Staff look forward to some welcome communication from the club’s directors which we hope can answer our growing concerns.

There will be no further comment from ANY member of staff regarding this statement.

Leyton Orient fans protest on the pitch against their owner Francesco Becchetti



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