2/4/18 - Please see the report of our recent Special General Meeting which sets out what was agreed by LOFT's members in terms of offering refunds - if you donated £100 or more then your net donation (i.e. after GoFundMe charges) is eligible for refund and we will get in touch with you with the options open to you during April 2018.
As noted in the report, and in accordance with legal advice obtained, the remaining balance of the Regeneration Fund not eligible for refund will be kept for its original purposes - i.e. a future crisis at Leyton Orient FC, of which there have been a number in its history - until such future time as LOFT members pass a resolution to re-purpose the fund.
We will update further later in the year at our AGM, after the refund process has finished.
13/7/17 - Please see today's update on our website on possible uses for the Regeneration Fund, following a positive initial discussion with the new club ownership.
As noted in the update, we are no longer accepting donations via GoFundMe to the fund - we will update further on the fund uses once we have further detail.
22/6/17 - The news that Leyton Orient has finally been sold to a consortium led by Nigel Travis is the welcome news we have been waiting for, for a very long time! It's also the culmination of a months-long fight to ensure this great football club must not die.
Please see the statement on our website for our full reaction to this.
As noted in our statement, the pledge by the new club owner of a fans' representative on the board of the football club is to be welcomed. Since so many people donated so much in aid of this fund, whether money, time or memorabilia, it is therefore only right and proper that we seek to use the money raised – over £175,000 – to help rebuild the club. We look forward to meeting Mr Travis at the earliest opportunity to discuss using the Regeneration Fund to help in the rebuilding, within the members' mandate around fan representation.
We will update in due course on the fate of the funds raised, once we have had that discussion with the new ownership at the club.
Until then, the details below remain as a snapshot of arguably the worst period in Leyton Orient Football Club's history.
Up the O's!
Original fund details as amended on 20 March 2017:
Please note, this is the official fundraising campaign launched by the Leyton Orient Fans' Trust (LOFT) - any other online fundraising camapigns have been set up by individuals and are not associated with LOFT.
There is an official fund page on our website with other ways to donate; direct transfer or standing order to our bank (both of which carry no fee so we get 100% of your donation) and PayPal.
20/3/17 - the details below have been amended slightly to account for the adjournment until 12 June of the winding-up petition against Leyton Orient Football Club, but otherwise is unchanged from when the campaign was launched on 2 March 2017.
7/4/17 - we have received the transfer to our bank account of GoFundMe donations less their charges. The total on this page will continue to be updated regularly with 'offline donations' to reflect the actual balance held on the bank account (i.e. net of all charges from GoFundMe as well as PayPal).
Leyton Orient Football Club is a professional football club based in Leyton, east London. It is London's second oldest such club, formed in 1881. For much of its life it has managed to survive in the shadow of much bigger London clubs - Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham are all near-neighbours - and is often referred to as Londoners' second-favourite club.
It has a reputation as a small, friendly, family club - but it faces an uncertain future.
Sold to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti in July 2014, just after the club missed out on promotion back to the Championship for the first time in over 30 years, Leyton Orient has since suffered a dramatic decline.
The club faces relegation out of the Football League for the first time in its 112 years in the league, and while it appears Mr Becchetti is willing to sell, the reported asking price may put off potential buyers due to the level of debt he has built up during his ownership. Some £10m+ is now owed by the club to the holding company that owns the majority of shares.
And on 1 March 2017, it was announced that the club faced a winding-up petition. Although that petition has now been adjourned until 12 June, the club remains in danger. The club's former chairman Barry Hearn has admitted that selling the club to Becchetti was "an absolute disaster".
The recent situation at the club has been widely reported in the media, including the BBC, Guardian newspaper and various others such as the Sun and Daily Mail.
We are the Leyton Orient Fans' Trust (LOFT), an independent supporters' trust representing hundreds of O's fans. Before the winding-up petition we were so concerned for the future of the club that we started planning for the worst. To that end, LOFT members passed a resolution on 2 March 2017, approving the setting up of the Leyton Orient Regeneration Fund.
The fund would be used to help regenerate Leyton Orient (or, in the event of liquidation of the club, a successor ‘phoenix club’) in the following scenarios:
Negotiated sale of the club involving LOFT
If LOFT (either on its own or as part of a consortium) were to enter into agreement to buy the club from the current owner, all or part of the fund would be used to secure a supporter-owned (or part-owned) Leyton Orient FC.
If Leyton Orient FC enters into administration, all or part of the fund would be used by LOFT (either on its own or as part of a consortium) to purchase the club from the Administrator and/or to pay off any Creditors as defined by the rules of the League that the club plays in.
If Leyton Orient FC is liquidated, all or part of the fund would be used – following a vote to reform a phoenix club – to assure the viability of such a club. For example: purchasing any club assets from the liquidator (whether physical, or intellectual property such as the club badge); securing the use of a stadium and any training facilities; covering any costs of setting up a new club; covering any operating loss in the first year(s) of operation.
This fund has an initial target amount of £250,000 – a figure decided on by our members as it was the reported amount of debt that prompted the winding-up petition. Please note that we are not raising money to pay the debts for Mr Becchetti while he remains in charge - this fund is to try and secure a better future for the club after he leaves, which is now beyond doubt as being in the best interests of the club.
LOFT believes this is an achievable initial target, given that it has received several thousand pounds in unsolicited donations from members in recent months. If we reach that target then it gives us a sizeable fund to try and secure the club's future - and if we pass that target then we'll aim even higher so that we can do even more to protect the club we love.
The fund will be maintained by LOFT until such time as it is needed for one of the above scenarios. If Mr Becchetti sells the club to a new owner without LOFT needing to be involved, then LOFT will review every 12 months whether larger donations should be offered back (minus any processing fees incurred) - larger donations being defined as one-off donations of £100 or more, or standing order contributions of £20 per month or more.
Please note that the total on this page is updated regularly with the totals of funds received directly or by other means.
Why Leyton Orient matters
Leyton Orient is a unique football club; in a country full of Towns, Citys and Uniteds, there is only one Orient.
Photo by kind permission of Dave Winter
Leyton Orient has a rich and proud history; the signing up en masse to the Footballers' Battalion in the First World War (and the ultimate sacrifices some of its players made in that conflict); its promotion for the only time to the top division in 1962; its run in the FA Cup that saw it reach the semi-final in 1978; its dramatic promotion to League One in the final minutes of the season in 2006; its record-breaking season in 2014 that ended in heartache. All these and more.
Photo by kind permission of Dave Winter
Leyton Orient deserves to be run properly again, with its values of community and family at the forefront. We Want Our Club Back!
Thank you for reading. Thank you even more if you help us to save the Orient by contributing.
Up the O's!
DonationsSee top donations
- LOFT Bank account
- Jonathan Howgrave-Graham
- Michael Hough
- tony Perry
- Alan Bedford