NT – Nigel Travis (Chairman)
DM – Danny Macklin (CEO)
JK – Jonathan Kaye (Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust Secretary)
The current state of the game –
We were close to disaster in 2016/17 so we ended up buying the club. We are pleased with our decision and we are confident that we are making good progress. The main focus of this evening though is the national game, and the implications of the Crouch report. The amount of money that the Premier League brings in has not been distributed evenly down the Football League pyramid and I want to remind everyone, the pyramid is not just the top four divisions, it oversees thirteen different levels. The pyramid is all about seeing people come from the lower levels and going as high as they possibly can.
The game is at a critical junction. It is the lifeblood of communities. No other sport has the connection with the community than our great game. It’s a social hub. It’s all some people think about and it gets children active. We provide activities for everyone in the Leyton community, it doesn’t discriminate. It’s a major part of the fabric of towns and cities all across the country.
The national game is under threat. All you need to do is look at Bury and Macclesfield. There are teams that are hanging on by their fingernails.
DM – The game is in need of urgent repair. Rick Parry (EFL Chairman) said football needs to hit the reset button. We believe that this report can be just that. In 2018/19, the total net losses of EFL clubs was £286 million. This cannot continue and it’s unsustainable.
Tracey Crouch Report –
NT – The Tracey Crouch report talks about transparency, integrity and fairness, as well as demonstrating good governance. We feel as if we try and uphold what is said in the report anyway. We can always improve though.
Setting up an independent regulator outside of the EFL is something we strongly believe in. It will be financed independently and will be like several others in the UK. The report recommends 47 points, including changes to financial controls, club ownership, financial distributions, fan engagement, women’s football and community projects.
DM – A 75%/25% split of joint broadcasting revenue will allow virtually every club in the pyramid to become self sufficient and less reliant on external benefactors.
JK – LOFT are also hugely supportive of the review. We have realised that the governance of football is broken and the likes of the EFL are unable to regulate the game themselves. ‘The Golden Share’ will give fans a right to veto any changes to heritage items of the club, such as the name, the badge and the home kit colour.
NT – We know our fans don’t forget anything. Initially there was a degree of skepticism of the independent regulator. But we’ve certainly changed our standpoint, and let us not forget, so has the EFL. This year, we’ve again seen clubs having issues financially, or signing players they shouldn’t have and seen themselves having points deducted. The independent regulator can help stop that and can make decisions quicker, rather than the cases hanging around for months.