O Hell – Crisis At Leyton Orient?

It was only last week that we discussed Leyton Orient’s possible mooting of a move from their home at Brisbane Road to Harlow in Essex. It seemed likely at the time that this was an idea that was being, for the want of a better phrase, being run up the flagpole to see if it flew. This week, however, Orient shareholders received a letter which is worrying in the extreme. The main body of the letter is here. As you can see, it proposes the sale of the club’s Brisbane Road stadium to a company called Matchroom Sport. The details of the deal are pretty straightforward. Matchroom will purchase the stadium for £6m. For five years, Orient will stay there free of rent for five years. Then, the rent will increase to £180,000 per year for five years. Five years further on, the amount payable may be further reviewed, and then again five years after that. This, however, isn’t the only significant detail in the letter. In addition to this, Leyton Orient Football Club won’t actually receive the full £6m from the sale of the stadium. Over the years, Matchroom have lent Leyton Orient money, so £3.4m of the £6m paid for the stadium will not be paid to the club at all. It will, effectively, be kept by Matchroom in settlement of debts for loans already made to...

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