New O’s owner Becchetti has option to buy Brisbane Road off Barry Hearn
14:43 11 July 2014
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New Leyton Orient owner Francesco Becchetti confirmed there is an option to buy the Brisbane Road ground from predecessor Barry Hearn, but admits the primary concern in the first-team squad.
The Italian businessman has bought all 90 per cent of Hearn’s shares in the O’s, though the former chairman still owns the ground.
And while Becchetti could look at the possibility of purchasing it over the next two to three years, with the 2014-15 season just around the corner, he feels getting manager Russell Slade’s side finalised should be the top of his agenda.
“We have an agreement within the next three years, we will see what the options are for this agreement, which is very open and transparent in the way it is settled,” said Becchetti.
“We want to improve the stadium from an aesthetic point of view and in terms of expansion substantial changes.
“But I think that at this specific moment we are approaching the beginning of the new season and therefore we have other priorities.”
The issue of Brisbane Road was a keen concern of the O’s fans ahead of the press conference held yesterday, but Hearn feels there is no need for them to worry with the club having a lease on the ground for the next 20 years.
“The interest in people of the ownership of the ground is a complete total irrelevance,” said Hearn. “Leyton Orient have the tenancy on the ground, they are protected and there is nothing which can hurt the club and whoever owns it is really immaterial to either of us.
“At the moment it is in my name, it can easily go to Francesco’s name whenever we feel.
“Clearly there are much more important things to concentrate on the future of the club rather than little things like a ground that is already leased to the football club for the next 20 years so long as the club doesn’t suffer.
“And it won’t suffer because it is protected by an outgoing custodian that acknowledges the importance of the club and an incoming custodian that has bought the club for the value the club currently has. There is no problem with the ground at all.”