Olympic Stadium meeting
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn met with supporters' groups and fanzines on 14 August to discuss the Club's position with regards to the Olympic Stadium. The Club is one of four bidders attempting to secure a tenancy of the Stadium once it is converted from its Olympic/Paralympic Games mode to its legacy mode and has confirmed it will conduct a full consultation process with supporters during the bid process.
A meeting was convened with committee members from the Leyton Orient Supporters Club, Leyton Orient Fans' Trust and the Leyton Orientear and Pandamonium fanzine editors at which Hearn outlined the three scenarios the Club faces going forward.
1 – REMAIN AT BRISBANE ROAD
The Club would remain in its current home and face the same difficulties it has in attracting new fans, both from the immediate locality and further afield. Should another Football Club take tenancy of the Olympic Stadium, these difficulties would be increased over the short and medium term and the Club would not only fail to grow but also sustaining its current status would prove more and more difficult over time with inevitable consequences.
2 – RELOCATE
The Club would seek out opportunities to relocate away from Brisbane Road, preferably remaining in east London, and build a new stadium. However, in the current financial climate it is extremely unlikely that it would be able to self-finance this, even if a viable site were identified and therefore this option is not considered feasible.
3 – TAKE A TENANCY, IF OFFERED, IN THE OLYMPIC STADIUM
The chairman would invest all the profits from the sale of Brisbane Road in to the Club, enabling Orient to increase its playing budget sufficiently with a view to achieving Championship status by the time the tenancy commences.
The Club would invest further in developing its fan base amongst the new community of residents on the Olympic Park and the wider east London area with a view to achieving a five-figure average crowd and becoming a sustainable, forward-thinking, community-orientated Championship Football Club.
It is envisaged that the Olympic Stadium would have a re-built lower tier removing the current problems with distance from the playing surface to the running track and instead providing for a reduced capacity lower tier configuration that can be used by the Club.
The Club has asked its supporters groups and fanzines to ascertain the mood of their members and readers for the above options with a view to opening a full consultation process over the coming months.
LOFT will undertake a consultation with its members shortly, to play its part in this process.