New Leyton Orient owner insists there are no limits to his ambitions (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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New Leyton Orient owner Francesco Becchetti insists there are no limits to his ambitions
New owner Francesco Becchetti insists the club's great history attracted him to Leyton Orient and insists there are no limits to his ambition.
The Italian has bought the O's from Barry Hearn and has targeted promotion to the Championship after the club missed out last season in the play-off final.
Becchetti said: "We are talking about going up to the Championship as quickly as possible. We have no limitations but without time constraints."
The Italian had the opportunity to buy Reading but decided Orient's lack of debt and location was a better option.
Becchetti said: "Firstly it is difficult to find a team whose accounts are in order like at Orient and we wanted to invest and not settle other people’s debts.
“Secondly Orient has a long and great history which is crucial for us. Origins and roots are important to us."
Becchetti added: “We spoke with Reading and everyone was attracted by the fact they are in the Championship and Orient are in League 1. During this meeting I said I think you’re all wrong because Orient may be League 1 but has no debts and everything we invest will translate into an asset for the future.
“This will allow us stable results so between Leyton Orient, Reading and another Championship team there are two differences. One is debt which others have and Orient doesn’t. One year is all it takes in terms of time span to get into the Championship."
Hearn will remain the owner of the Matchroom Stadium although Becchetti will have the option to buy the ground.
Hearn, who was named honorary president by Becchetti, said: "We are custodians of a football club. Leyton Orient have the tenancy on the ground and are protected. Nothing can hurt the club and whoever owns it is really immaterial to either of us.
"At the moment it's in my name but it can easily go to Francesco's name whenever we want. But clearly there are much more important things to concentrate on like the future of the club rather than the ground which is already leased to the club for the next 20 years.
"As long as the club doesn't suffer and it won't because it's protected by an outgoing custodian that acknowledges the importance of it and an incoming one that has bought the club for the value it currently has. There is no problem with the ground at all.
"It's not a deal where someone's trying to make a quick buck or pull the wool over someone's eyes. We're both sensible Orient fans so the club is in the perfect position and have total protection. It really doesn't matter who owns it."