I had an interesting email about this weekendâ€™s opponents earlier this week. Itâ€™s a copy of the Leyton Orient Trustâ€™s newsletter, in which they outline what they see as a potential threat to the future of their club and which they will be campaigning against.
It all stems from a proposal from Chairman Barry Hearn, the basics of which are:
â€œTo sell the long leasehold interests of the ground to Matchroom (Hearnâ€™s company) for Â£6m, of which Â£3.4m is repaid to Matchroom to repay that company’s loan to the club
Matchroom then give the club a 20-year lease, rent-free for the first five years.
After five years the club pays Matchroom a rent of Â£180,000 a year, with rent reviews at years 10 and 15â€.
As the Trust says, their own instincts, and everything they’ve researched from elsewhere in football, told them the same thing, that separating a football club from ownership of its own ground is potentially incredibly detrimental to its long-term future.
Now, what other Chairman could possibly have come up with a harebrained scheme scheme like that one?
Chris Hutchingâ€™s job should be a little easier following the win on Tuesday night, as the current total of 51 points should be enough for safety. That means that his main problem should be motivating the team to keep their standards up when there is little or nothing at stake. We donâ€™t want them getting the deckchairs out already â€“ not when there is still something to prove in terms of our ability to put together a promotion drive next season.
Out are Ricketts, still suspended, Gerrard, out for four weeks, and, presumably, Roberts, who I am despairing seeing again this season. That means the defence picks itself, with:
Ince, Palmer, Weston, Smith and Boertien.
In midfield, Iâ€™d like to see Bradley keep his place, irrespective of whether Hughes is available or not, as he made a difference on Tuesday in the Captainâ€™s absence for â€œfamily reasonsâ€. It must also be worth considering whether to put Shroot in and move Nicholls up top in place of Iberhe, who, for all his efforts on Tuesday, quite frankly didnâ€™t look capable of hitting a barn door with a banjo. Mind you, he might well be fired up, playing against his old team.
Leyton Orient boss Geraint Williams has no fresh injury or suspension concerns.
Striker Adam Boyd missed last weekend’s 1-0 victory at Stockport with an ankle injury and is still not training, while defender Adam Chambers is still sidelined with a calf problem.
Fellow defender Alton Thelwell remains doubtful with a knee injury as the Os look to extend their good run of form under Williams’ stewardship.
Williams has guided Orient to five wins from eight league matches since taking over at Brisbane Road, so this is not as easy a game as it might have been at one time. That good run, however, has mainly come away from home. At home, they have won only two of the last six games and one of those came against Brighton and we found out how bad they are on Tuesday night! Iâ€™ll go for a point from this one.