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League 2

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Chaos at Orient

Leyton Orient are in a state of chaos under owner Francesco Becchetti and face relegation to the non-league pyramid for the first time in their history.   Becchetti is now neglecting the club, using protests as an excuse, and refusing to authorise any squad additions.

It will be difficult to find a buyer for the League 2 club, the second oldest professional club in London, as the owner has loaded it with £9m to £10m of debt.

Orient up for sale

The controversial owner of Leyton Orient, Frsncesco Becchetti, has said that he will consider offers for the club.  One has already been made and rejected.

Orient are in real danger of relegation from the Football League.   The move of West Ham to the London Stadium has casr a shadow across Orient.

A rather exreaordinary statement from the club's chief executive can be found here.

Morecambe FC plunged into crisis

Morecambe FC has been plunged into crisis after majority shareholder Mr Diego Lemos failed to deliver on promises of investment.  Ali Abdulrahman Al Hasemi has resigned as co-chairman and director.

Mr Lemos has not been in the country since mid-November and has been difficult to contact.   The Brazilian businessman took over at the club at the beginning of September.

Notts County deal sealed

It has been a long drawn out saga which started in February but Notts County have been sold by owner Ray Trew to local businessman Alan Hardy.    Trew put the club up for sale after being subjected to what he called 'mindless abuse' by fans.  They are the oldest professional football club in the world, having been founded in 1862.

Football League restructuring scrapped

Plans for a restructuring of the Football League into a five league, 100-team competition have been scrapped after talks with the Football Association broke down.   The FA was not prepared to move FA Cup games to create more weekend slots for matches.

The plans were unpopular with the non-league system which would have lost its leading clubs.  Clubs might have found it difficult to financially sustain league membership.

New effort to sell Notts County

Notts County chairman and majority shareholder Ray Trew has made a new effort to sell the club.   He has approached local businessman Alan Hardy who has made two bids for the club in the past.  He thinks that the world's old professional team has the potential to reach the Championship

Trew has had talks with potential buyers from China and the United States and also with a UK hedge fund, but these do not seem to have gone anywhere.

Trew originally put a price tag of £8m to £10m on the club.

Checkatrade trophy still unpopular with fans

The latest series of matches in the Checkatrade or Football League trophy shows that the new format involving Premier League under 23 teams remains unpopular with fans.

The biggest attendance was at the derby between rivals Swindon Town and Oxford United at 2,698, but in fact it was the lowest attendance ever for a A420 derby.   Just 457 saw Barnet face Norwich City.   Portsmouth against Reading under 23s attracted the lowest attendance since 1945 and the 609 at Grimsby to see them play Leicester City under 23s was their lowest ever for a cup competition game.

Growing antagonism between owners and fans

Growing anatgonism between owners and fans is examined in this blog contribution with reference to the cases of Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.

In the case of Charlton it is ironic that fans have been referred to as 'customers' by the chief executive, yet there seems to be no concept of good customer relations beyond a series of gimmicks.

Luton's new stadium plans

Luton's ground at Kenilworth Road recalls a forgotten football past.  To access the away end you go down a passage between terraced houses and climb a set of stairs with back gardens on either side. The 'executive boxes' are down one side of the ground, set back just a few yards from the touchline and only a few yards higher than the pitch.

Morecambe becomes first Brazilian owned club

With teams in the Premier League and the Championship snapped up, the attention of foreign investors is turning to Leagues One and Two where they hope there may be bargains to be had.   Morecambe was put up for sale in March and has become the first club to be acquired by a Brazilian investor.