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.

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
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

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories