EFL releases statement on Leyton Orient woes as staff still unpaid

EFL responds to Leyton Orient off-field woes
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The EFL releases a statement on the payment dispute at Leyton Orient, who were relegated from the Football League for the first time in 112 years on Saturday.

The EFL has released a statement expressing its 'concern' about the situation at Leyton Orient as it emerges that the club's staff are yet to be paid for March.

On Saturday, a 3-0 defeat to Crewe Alexandra resulted in the London club getting relegated from the Football League for the first time in 112 years.

The PFA covered half of the players' wages last month, but the backroom team have gone without and they are yet to hear from the club's board of directors.

Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti, who owns the club, has gone AWOL and there is growing concern over the payment situation, with the next round of wages due to go out on April 28.

Becchetti paid a tax bill of around £125,000 to £250,000 after the HMRC issued a winding-up petition last month, and the creditors who have taken over the petition are due in the High Court on June 12.

The backroom staff reached out to the football bodies for help, and now the English Football League has responded.

"The EFL remains exceptionally concerned about the current situation at Leyton Orient. We are also aware of the frustration being expressed by the club's staff. This is shared by the EFL Executive, as we are similarly seeking answers to a number of important questions from the Directors of the club. Silence is not an acceptable response," read the statement.

"The EFL last met with Leyton Orient Chief Executive, Alessandro Angelieri on March 9. At this meeting, we received confirmation that funds would be made available to dismiss the winding-up petition and fund the club going forward. The EFL Board received an update on the situation at its meeting on 6th April with the club being asked to provide a further commitment following widespread reporting that the required funding had not been made available. No response has been received to date.

"The EFL Executive are continuing to work with the club's dedicated staff to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for Saturday's final home game of the season and would like to place on record our thanks for those that are making this possible, including the local Safety Advisory Group. Additionally, a meeting has been arranged with Leyton Orient Fans' Trust, to try and keep those parties with the club's best interests at heart, united.

"There has been significant comment in recent days about the EFL's Owners' & Directors' Test in the context of the ownership of Leyton Orient. It is important that supporters understand that the Test governs the eligibility of who is able to own a club - it does not also ensure that those individuals have the capability to manage it properly."

The EFL added that it will do "everything it can" to ensure that Leyton Orient's future is "secured" despite the club no longer being in the Football League.

A general view of the Leyton Orient signage prior to the Sky Bet League One semi final second leg play off match between Leyton Orient and Peterborough United at Matchroom Stadium on May 13, 2014
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