Match Officials Trick Leyton Orient F.C. Protestors Into Leaving "Abandoned" Match, Only to Start it Back Up Again
Needless to say, Orient fans deserve better.
Leyton Orient F.C. is worse than a dumpster fire. They're more like something of a landfill inferno. And today—in the wake of assuring relegation to the fifth tier at a whopping 50 points behind League Two's top of the standings—Orient fans took to the pitch mid-match to condemn their utter disaster of a club. They were elated to have effectively stopped the match with their protest, erupting in cheers. But after calling the match "abandoned," the refs tricked the protestors into leaving, only to start the game back up thirty minutes later.
But let's step back for a second and get a better view of full range of Orient's fuckery. Their owner Francisco Becchetti seems to be a championship scammer, who hasn't been around since November and only just settled his March salary debts to team staff—many of whom had to change their housing after not making rent. (Several freelance contractors have still yet to be paid.) This is all paired with the fact that in the past three years, the club has been relegated to the fourth tier—just a season after being on the brink of promotion to the second-tier Championship—went through 10 managers, and will appear in court in June to defend its mere existence as a club, in the face of massive debts. Note: the club has been in existence since 1881. So yeah, that kind of fuckery.
And so after a day of protests outside of the stadium, with just minutes left to play against Colchester, fans took to the field and effectively stopped the game. Thankfully, ESPNFC reporter Iain Macintosh was on hand to capture the progression of this spectacular disaster:
But then, as if Orient fans haven't been treated outright disrespectfully enough, the refs put back in the corner flags after the game was "abandoned" and resumed play:
Orient ended up losing 3-1, with two goals coming within just two minutes of each other—before fans stormed the pitch.
To add insult to injury, the English Football League released a statement after the match that admitted that they had tricked the fans on purpose, saying, "a decision was taken with the police to announce that the game had been abandoned as it was felt this would help clear the pitch, which proved correct." Congratulations, assholes.
According to Macintosh, Orient fans are trying to figure out a way to raise funds to help save the club on their own. It's an "emergency fund" that organizers say might be put to use to help buy a stake in the club if new owners try to salvage it. Organizers even managed to garner sympathy from rival clubs, raising nearly $10,000 at a Tottenham-Bournemouth game. Needless to say, Orient fans deserve all that help and more.
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