Leyton Orient staff 'hugely concerned' by lack of communication from Francesco Becchetti over unpaid debts

ALEX YOUNG
Unpaid wages | Staff are still yet to receive March's pay as April's deadline now approaches: Getty Images

Leyton Orient have issued a statement demanding communication from owner Francesco Becchetti and its directors over the club's continuing financial troubles.

The club's staff were due to be paid their outstanding wages on April 6 and have not only yet to receive them but also are without a new payment date.

The statement asks for more clarity over the situation as personal debts grow, with the PFA helping pay a portion of the players' wage bill last week.

The O's survived a winding-up order last month and Becchetti has been ordered to pay off debut by June 12 or face selling the club, though staff are concerned if the owner will fulfil the arrangement.

Read the statement in full below...

“As staff of Leyton Orient Football Club we have become hugely concerned by the lack of communication issued by owner Francesco Becchetti and its directors,” a statement read.

“Having not received our wages for the month of March 2017, staff were told to expect payment on April 6 due to an issue regarding the club’s bank account.

“However, on the eve of the date promised, staff were informed that they would have to wait a ‘few days more’ for their wages.

“Following this a formal grievance was raised by club staff in line with the club’s policies and procedures, though to this date it remains unacknowledged with no indication as to when, or if, we are to be paid.

“Despite their concern club staff have continued in their respective roles, rallying behind the team in their bid to preserve Leyton Orient’s proud English Football League association.

“At the time of this statement we are now in the 19th day of April, and with our next payment of wages due in nine days time, we appeal to the club’s directors to communicate the current situation and provide us with an update regarding our pay.

“As reported last week, the playing staff were supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) who kindly loaned a percentage of each individual’s monthly salary to help them through this difficult time.

“This has been greatly appreciated however the players now have a debt hanging over their heads of which they remain unsure as to when, or even if, they can repay the amount given to them.

“The winding up order issued at the start of March saw the club taken to the High Court, and on March 20 it was claimed that the amount of £1 million is to be put into the club to ensure all debts that have been generated over recent months would be paid in full by June 12 when the club are next due to appear in court.

“With debts continuing to mount and us as staff not being paid our contractual wage, it raises questions as to whether the directors are on course to meet this arrangement.

“Staff look forward to some welcome communication from the club’s directors which we hope can answer our growing concerns.

“There will be no further comment from ANY member of staff regarding this statement.”

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