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News from Supporters Direct conference
10/21/2009

Delegates from many of the UK's Supporters' Trusts assembled in Birmingham last week to discuss the current situation facing the various supporters groups. LOFT was unable to send a delegate this year, but a good report on the conference can be found here.

It has clearly been a mixed year; for the all ongoing success stories such as Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon, other groups have faced hard decisions or significant setbacks. It is always worth bearing in mind the experiences of other Supporters' Trusts when considering the future of LOFT; whether they have a controlling interest, or are, like LOFT, acting as a voice for fans concerned about the way their clubs are being ran by its owners.

With our AGM date and venue due to be finalised soon, there are some big decisions to be discussed and agreed upon. Following the groundswell of supporter concern over the sale of the Club's remaining property assets to another company controlled by chairman Barry Hearn, real doubts remain about Leyton Orient Football Club's ability to stay and prosper at Brisbane Road. The cash injection from that sale will run out sooner rather than later, and annual ground rent of 180,000 where previously the club paid 1 a year to the local council - becomes payable in just four years' time.

LOFT, which opposed the ground sale, remains committed to spearheading a greater voice for O's supporters and generating more interest across the local community in the running of Leyton Orient. But there is a critical need to increase membership and profile if we are to be successful in that aim. At the same time, LOFT needs more of the existing membership to help form and carry out LOFT's agenda and assist in a recruitment drive, to ensure we are ready and best placed to deliver on our objectives when the time comes for action.

If you feel you can help in any way, please email Doug Harper at chair@leytonorientfanstrust.com

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