Orient for sale at £5!

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The Independent Online
FOOTBALL Anyone looking for a last-minute Christmas present for someone who has everything can buy Leyton Orient, the hard-up Second Division club, for a knock-down £5.

That is the offer of Tony Wood, the Orient chairman, to any supporter after admitting he can no longer keep the east London outfit afloat, having lost his personal fortune during the civil war in Rwanda, where a coffee-growing business had made him a millionaire.

Wood, a former Arsenal director who has been Orient's chairman for eight years, told the clubcall phoneline service: "I will hand over the keys to any fan who gives me £5. Nobody knows the horrendous year I've been through and nobody seems to care.

"I can't do any more. I have lost everything and, like Micawber, I am hoping something will turn up. Unless it does, the club wlll continue to slide and will just go down and down."

Orient, third from bottom of the Second Division, have seen home gates fall below 3,000.

Sunderland have agreed to release the midfielder Gary Owers and pay a cash adjustment in an attempt to take the Bristol City defender Martin Scott to Roker Park.

n The England coach, Terry Venables, has confirmed he will continue his legal battle against the BBC after Gino Santin, the man who figured in a Panorama probe into Paul Gascoigne's transfer from Tottenham to Lazio, was awarded "substantial damages" in the High Court. Venables was Spurs manager at the time. The programme was part of an overall investigation into Venables' financial affairs.