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.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution