The O Zone: Plans afoot for next season, in whichever division

Behind the scenes at Leyton Orient: Promotion would make a massive difference  to us in every area

Most of the time a football club, on both the playing side and the administrative, lives from match to match, but there is also long-term planning to be done. This season is still boiling up to a climax but we have already had to start looking ahead to next season and that is made more complicated by not knowing what division we will be in.

There is a lot to do but after a mad March, with seven games in the space of 29 days, last week was a quiet one. The players were given a couple of rest days after the Bradford defeat, there was no midweek game, and the treatment room was relatively quiet.

The quieter times provide an opportunity for the staff to catch up on odd jobs but also to focus on the future. Barry Hearn, the chairman, was in to take us for one of his now renowned greasy-spoon breakfast meetings at the Royal Café on Leyton High Road. Barry was already waiting for us when we arrived at 8.15am as he was hungry that particular morning. He also had an appetite to review this season with myself and the commercial team and to think ahead to the 2014-15 campaign.

While no one is giving up on automatic promotion, least of all the gaffer, Russell Slade, and the players, it is beginning to look as if we will be in the play-offs, which means a further delay in knowing whether we will be a Championship or League One side come August. The season could end on 3 May or go on to 25 May. There is also the possibility of playing at Wembley.

This affects countless big decisions to be made for next season, such as pre-season training dates, ticket and hospitality prices, and for Barry, Russ and Matt, the chief executive, pricing up the playing budget, which obviously affects the contracts of current and potential players.

Whatever happens on the pitch, though, there are some things we need to be getting on with regardless and the wheels are in motion for a couple of big changes already.

Matt and Steve, the stadium manager, have been busy in the last few weeks arranging for the ground to have a bit of a facelift. Football League rules have changed regarding floodlights: the brightness levels have gone up across all four divisions, meaning we will have to get new floodlights fitted.

The East Stand is the oldest of the four sides at the Matchroom Stadium and plans are being made to replace the wooden seats with new ones and make a couple of structural changes. The stand originally came from the Mitcham Stadium, which was home to speedway and rugby but was demolished in 1956. It was dismantled, transported across London and reassembled in its current home.

Last year we had a new drainage system installed under the pitch and tons of the top soil were removed and transported to Hackney Marshes, just down the road from the club.

I’ve found that clubs are happy to share in other areas too, and I will regularly swap programmes with other teams to share and borrow ideas ahead of a relaunch, which is something I’ve been working on for next year. Meanwhile the commercial boys, Tom and Rob, have been in and out of meetings with potential new club partners for the forthcoming season.

Promotion would make a massive difference to us in every area and would allow for countless changes and improvements. It would mean our first season in the second flight since 1982. It is what everyone at the club wants but, if it doesn’t happen this year, then we are still looking healthier than we have off the field for a long, long time.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links