LOFT has launched the Leyton Orient Regeneration Fund with an initial target of £250,000 to be used in one of a number of scenarios. Read on for latest news, background detail, fund governance and how to donate.
Latest fund news
Monday 8 May 2017 - The fund now stands just above £155,000!
Just over two grand was collected at Brentford vs Blackburn Rovers yesterday - thank you to all those who donated and our wonderful band of bucket rattlers.
Other donations coming in have helped us surge past £150k and keep going - with the proceeds of Orient Outlook's auctions and whatever we raise on the day at the Lingy's Legends vs Supporters match on 20 May to come!
We would like to remind those wishing to donate that the fund gets 100% of your donation if paid directly to our bank account or by cheque, but a fee is deducted from your donation by PayPal or GoFundMe if you use those methods. See below for details on these fees.
Leyton Orient Football Club faces an uncertain future. Its current owner, Francesco Becchetti, has indicated he is willing to sell, but the asking price may put off potential buyers due to the level of debt he has built up to (we believe) other family companies during his ownership - some £10m+ is owed in total across the club and its holding company.
Administration, or even liquidation, cannot be ruled out - despite Becchetti's recent cutting of the playing squad, there is a very real risk that he may simply stop covering the losses the club currently makes. Indeed that now seems to have happened, following the announcement on 1 March that a winding-up petition has been served on the club. Even though that petition has now been adjourned until 12 June and the tax bill to HMRC paid, the debt to trade creditors remains in our estimation a significant six-figure sum.
While the best solution to Leyton Orient's situation is for Becchetti to sell the club as a going concern to a new owner, LOFT's remit as a supporters' trust means that we have to plan for the worst. To that end, LOFT members passed a resolution on 2 March 2017, approving the setting up of the Leyton Orient Regeneration Fund with an initial target of £250,000.
The fund would be used to help regenerate Leyton Orient FC (or, in the event of liquidation of the club, a successor ‘phoenix club’) in the following scenarios:
- Negotiated sale of the club involving LOFT
The proposed uses of the Fund are set out in the Fund proposal document - note that the initial proposal was for a target of £100k, but our members voted to set a higher target. Note that we are not raising money to pay the debts for Mr Becchetti while he remains in charge - this fund is to try and secure a better future for the club after he leaves, which is now beyond doubt as being in the best interests of the club.
How to donate to the Regeneration Fund
You can donate to the fund by one of a number of methods. You are free to use whichever you prefer, please note however that both PayPal and GoFundMe deduct processing fee charges from your donation as set out below, which reduce the amount we receive.
Therefore, if at all possible, please make electronic payments from your bank account to ours, as this is the only way (other than cash or cheque) we receive 100% of what you donate.
The ways to donate are:
Cash and cheques may also be put in official Regeneration Fund buckets where available at matches or other events. If you want to talk to us about making a corporate or other larger donation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By direct payment to LOFT’s main bank account – whether direct payment from your bank account or monthly standing order - at sort code: 08-92-99, account number: 65070198, account name: Leyton Orient Fans’ Society Ltd (t/as Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust)
- By cheque payable to Leyton Orient Fans' Trust, sent to LOFT’s registered address: 20 Market Place, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT1 1JP
- By donating to our GoFundMe campaign (note that each donation is subject to a fee of around 8% when we withdraw funds)
- By PayPal, clicking on the button below (note that each donation is subject to a fee of 1.9%-3.4% plus 20p, charged immediately to us by PayPal):
All donations received (net of any charges levied by PayPal or GoFundMe) will utlimately be transferred to a separate bank account held by LOFT. The fund will be maintained by LOFT until such time as it is needed for one of the above scenarios and as explained in the Fund proposal document.
If Mr Becchetti sells the club to a new owner without LOFT needing to be involved, then LOFT will review every 12 months whether larger donations should be offered back (minus any processing fees incurred) - larger donations being defined as one-off donations of £100 or more, or standing order contributions of £20 per month or more. Note that this term was added after the original proposal document was published.
Updates on the progress of the fund will be posted on this page and on our Twitter account.