The Leyton Orient Fans' Trust (LOFT) is pleased to welcome the launch of the representative supporters' group, as announced by the club today.
The group aims to fulfil the promise of supporter representation that was part of the announcement on 22 June 2017 that the club had been saved. Since June 2017, members of LOFT’s board and the Supporters Club committee have worked closely together towards a successful outcome to that promise.
The original pledge from Nigel Travis was to have a supporter representative on the board, and this was the initial focus of the work that LOFT and LOSC put into this project alongside club directors. There are democratically-elected Supporter Directors at around 15 other clubs across the top 5 divisions, who represent supporters' interests at board level, so it is disappointing that the club eventually chose to go down a different path. Nonetheless, a key aim of LOFT's has been met, in that the representative group recognises the importance of interaction at board level with a group of fans, to supplement the existing excellent engagement at an individual fan level by board members.
A key aim of supporters' trusts is to ensure that fans have a way of assuring good governance at the club, and the fan representative group is a step towards ensuring this at Leyton Orient. Good governance with fan input is essential at any club, as Orient fans are fully aware because of the way the club was run into the ground by its previous owner. The lesson of that regime has to be that fans deserve to be informed and involved in how the club is run, and the commitment by the club to board level engagement with the representative group is a key step in that.
The future success of the representative group will depend on how willing the club board is to engage in a two-way conversation about significant issues. Based on the club's excellent supporter engagement in the past two years, there is every reason to believe it will be a success, and LOFT will as always fully play its part in representing its members.
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