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INTERVIEW: Travis - 'We are in this together'

Chairman praises Orient fan base and discusses Club vision

25 June 2017

Club Chairman Nigel Travis believes O’s fans have a crucial role to play as he looks to bring excitement back to Leyton Orient.

Following the release of his message to supporters earlier today, Travis spoke of his delight at completing the takeover and becoming a part of the Club he has supported for the past 59 years.

“One huge benefit we have here at Leyton Orient is that we have got a phenomenal fan base,” Travis told leytonorient.com in his first interview with the Club.

“The fans last year were simply amazing. They could have simply not been any better, and I am hoping we can build on that.

“It was exciting to see the reaction to the takeover, and I saw fans online saying that they couldn’t sleep Thursday night. I can also say that as I woke up at 1am too excited and had to go and do some work downstairs.

“I am absolutely delighted and I think that a football club should be about excitement. We are determined to make Leyton Orient an exciting place both on and off the field.

“However, this is not about getting out of the National League next year. This is about building the Club back up to where it was a few years ago and is a journey that will not take just a day.

Born in East London, the Chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands Group explained the culture he intends to bring to the Matchroom Stadium, as well as the decision to appoint former player and manager Martin Ling as Director of Football.

“We are going to build a great culture focussed on people here at Leyton Orient. People have always been very important to me in my career, and I think that a football club is no different than any other organisation – it is all about people.”

“Several weeks ago, we discussed the route we wanted to go with, whether we have a football manager or a Director of Football. We felt the longer-term approach was to have a Director of Football, and that means Martin is responsible for finding the players, finding the coaches and creating the overall structure of the Club,” he said.

“By having a Director of Football, it means the team have an approach and style of play in games that is consistent. It also means that you don’t have the dilemma of trying to manage a game on a Saturday and Tuesday while thinking about the long-term goals for the Club.

“I think sometimes there is a conflict between the two of those so by having Martin as Director of Football we have allowed him to focus on the medium and long-term goals of the Club and not worry about how the team is going to win on the Saturday.

“Martin was a natural choice as he has a lot of tradition at Leyton Orient, and has had experience at every level in football as a player, coach and manager. He has the right approach to managing people, is a good communicator and has had success at the Club in the past.

“Martin will give us a strategic view on the footballing side, and will set up a framework which will allow us to develop young players as well as improving senior players who come to the Club.

In addition to Ling’s appointment, Travis continued by praising the work of both Principal Investor Kent Teague and Interim Chief Executive Marshall Taylor.

“I didn’t know Kent 10 weeks ago, but he has been an absolute joy to work with,” revealed Travis.

“He actually came to me via a joint friend, and I know him pretty well now. We have done so much together throughout the last few weeks, he has stayed at my house and met my family. He is simply a great guy who works extremely hard and his eye for detail is phenomenal.

“Marshall approached me out of the blue as a fan who had heard I was trying to do something. After trying various avenues, he managed to get in contact with me, and it was agreed that he would become an investor.

“We then also quickly realised that Marshall is an extremely smart man who has run a lot of businesses, been a Deloitte consultant, and already I have learnt some things from him.

“We knew we needed to go out and get an experienced Chief Executive, but required someone to man the fort so to speak in the short-term. Much like Martin was for the Director of Football role, Marshall seemed to be a natural choice and he is already hard at work.”

With the O’s 2017-18 National League campaign set to get underway on August 5, season ticket sales are due to be announced tomorrow (Monday), and Travis ended by revealing his determination to see the commercial side of the Club grow.

“We want to sell as many season tickets as we can as this is a business, and we also want to see the commercial side grow as much as we possibly can.

“We have a lot of opportunity, and we want to encourage fans to use the Club facilities for events such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. We want fans to bring their friends and families to our games, and season ticket sales are crucial for that,” he concluded.

“The key thing is engagement as we are all in this together, it is not just about the board. It is the board, the management, the staff and also the fans. We are all about one thing which is to bring success back to the Matchroom Stadium and East London.”


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