By Conor O’Mahoney
Leyton Orient have returned to the Football League having won the conference, pipping Solihull Moors to the title by 3 points.
Orient were administration-bound after falling £5 million in debt a few years ago as well having unpaid taxes in excess of £200,000 owed to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a fault which could be attributed to owner Francesco Becchetti.
They were on the verge of promotion to the championship in 2014, narrowly missing out after a loss on penalties to Rotherham in the play-off final but since then, their decline has been swift. The 16/17 season saw Orient’s relegation to non-league following a 112-year stay in the football league. In between their 2 relegations from League One to non-league, Orient went through 12 managers exacerbating their struggles both on and off the pitch.
To overcome the obstacle of impending extinction to their revival, and subsequent promotion back to the football league is a monumental achievement; one of those stories that make you fall in love with football, and new owner Nigel Travis seems to have more faith in his managers.
The O’s enjoyed a stellar season losing just 7 of their 46 games, winning 25 of those. Orient enjoyed an excellent end to the season also, winning 3 of their last 6 games, and drawing the other 3; cementing their position in the football league, and ultimately being crowned champions. Orient also secured their place in the EFL trophy final, where they will play Fylde on May 19th, having beaten AFC Telford United 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-final. A victory in the EFL trophy would be a great end to what has been an extremely successful season for Leyton Orient; let’s hope they can continue in the same vein in the football league next year.