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Waltham Forest Council passes emergency motion in support of Leyton Orient FC

Councillors in Waltham Forest last night passed an emergency motion pledging to provide Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT) with support to assist in its campaign to protect Leyton Orient FC.

At a full Council meeting in Waltham Forest Town Hall yesterday (Thursday 2 March), there was unanimous support for the motion, which also outlined the Council’s belief that the current owners should work harder to find a new buyer for the club.

Council Leader Chris Robbins has called on the whole community to rally behind Leyton Orient FC and help safeguard its future in the borough.

He said: “The future of London’s second oldest football club is at stake here – a well-loved and valued club that is very much part of the East London community.

“We want to see the current owners work harder to find a new buyer for the club and ensure that there are no blockages put in front of legitimate offers. It is absolutely imperative that the club’s owners meet their responsibilities to ensure that Leyton Orient’s outstanding financial commitments are kept.

“In the meantime, we’re planning to host crisis talks with the club’s management next week, and have requested a meeting with the Football Association.”

The O’s have become synonymous with Waltham Forest, having been based in Leyton for nearly 100 years. The Council is asking residents to get behind LOFT’s fundraising campaign in support of Leyton Orient FC.

LOFT members passed a resolution on 2 March to set up a fund, which could be used to help regenerate Leyton Orient. Alternatively, the fund would be used to establish a successor ‘phoenix club’ – a new club founded by supporters – in the event of a negotiated sale of the club involving LOFT or Leyton Orient FC going in administration or liquidation.

Tom Davies, a LOFT spokesperson, said: “This past week has been an incredibly tough time for all Orient fans. However, it is heartening to see how so many people have rallied round to help, discuss and examine ways of rescuing our club. Not just Orient fans but fans of clubs across the UK have got in touch with messages of support and help, and it is of huge importance that we have received backing from the local council and local MP.

“Leyton Orient may be a small club, but it is a cherished part of our community, and a wonderful family in its own right. Which is why we are exploring all options – some very difficult – to ensure our club survives, and why we have launched our regeneration fund, to help deal with certain specific needs. We are not prepared to see our club die without a fight.”

To support LOFT’s campaign, click here.

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