LOFT to seek members’ approval for recovery plans
Since our AGM just under 3 months ago, LOFT has been working on plans to combat various crisis scenarios, should any of them come into play at Leyton Orient Football Club.
While work on those plans continues, particularly on financial aspects, we will soon be in a position to seek approval from members for the direction of travel and the plans we have in place so far.
To that end, we have arranged a Special General Meeting to be held on Thursday 2 March at the Leytonstone & District Ex-Servicemens Club on Harvey Road, Leytonstone, E11 3DB. The meeting will start at 7:45pm, doors opening around 7pm. Those who attended the packed AGM will be pleased to hear we have sourced a larger venue in the local area, with its own separate bar!
The meeting will give members old and new a chance to discuss with LOFT's Board an executive summary of the plans; the summary will be made available publicly to all fans in advance of the meeting. We will try to answer as many questions as openly and honestly as we can, while preserving the necessary confidentiality of ongoing financial discussions around possible investors.
We will also present a proposal to set up a 'Fighting Fund', to be used in the event one of the scenarios we are planning for solidifies. We will set out our thoughts on when – and equally importantly, when not – to use the funds raised, our proposals for ensuring financial transparency and probity, and seek input on ways to receive funds.
We know that some Orient fans will be disappointed (and some critical) that LOFT is not in a position to 'save' the club right now. Believe us when we say that we would love to have the backing of multi-millions of pounds, so that we can seek a negotiation with Francesco Becchetti to sell Leyton Orient without causing it any more harm. But we don’t have that sort of money in our pockets, and nobody of that sort of financial worth is currently looking to back a community takeover of the club.
So for now we can only plan for what is possible, which is to try and protect the club if harm is brought upon its ability to function. And to do that, we believe as a democratic society we should first and foremost involve our members and seek their affirmation of our plans. LOFT exists to represent its members in the wellbeing of the club, and its members are at least as important as the volunteers on its Board.
We encourage all O's fans to come to this meeting, as the price of just a couple of hours of your time and a minimum of a quid will give you the opportunity to get involved. If members collectively back what we’re doing, we will then commit to holding an open meeting as soon as possible for all fans, regardless of LOFT membership status.
As pledged before the recently-postponed Morecambe match, some LOFT committee members aim to be available near the club shop on Oliver Road before every home match for the rest of the season. All supporters are welcome to come and ask questions about our work, offer to help the Trust with whatever comes next, and/or join LOFT if not already a member. Look for one of our 'We Want Our Club Back' banners near the club shop this coming Saturday – we look forward to talking to you.