Black hole at Orient sees Webb resign as manager

By Adam Ellis

Leyton Orient manager Danny Webb has had his resignation accepted by the club’s hierachy to end his two-month stint in charge of the crisis hit League Two club.

Webb became the O’s fourth permanent manager of this season in late January when he was ushered in by owner Francesco Becchetti to replace Andy Edwards.

33-year-old Webb recorded two victories over Plymouth and Newport County during his time in charge, but nine defeats have confounded the O’s to almost certain relegation and the loss of their 112-year association with the EFL.

The trimming of the squad’s wage budget saw the likes of Jay Simpson and Dean Cox exit the London club earlier in the season and a growing reliance on the youth academy begin to take shape, as Becchetti, one of Italy’s most wealthy businessmen, curtailed his investment and sought to sell his 90% shares.

A brief statement on leytonorient.com said: “The club can confirm they have accepted the resignation of Danny Webb from his post as first-team manager.

“Webb took over the job on January 29, but leaves the club with immediate effect along with goalkeeper coach Martin Brennan.”

On 1 March, HMRC lodged a winding-up petition against Orient over an unpaid tax bill reported to be between £150,000-£250,000, which brought the threat of administration and possibly liquidation.

While Becchetti would end up paying the bill, the court was made aware by other creditors that money totalling almost £60,000 had yet to be paid to them and adjourned the case until 12 June.

Webb stated after last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Crawley Town that he would like to stay on as first-team manager but only with the cooperation from an owner who has distanced himself from the club after a fans protest in November.

“I am certainly going to try and ask the chairman questions. We are all in limbo. I am out of contract at the end of the season and the frustrating thing is I am trying to think ahead and think about the future when I am not guaranteed a future,” Webb said.

Promoted from his role as Under-18s manager earlier in the season, Webb added: “And I keep singing on my own the same hymn about next season with the youngsters and I am just waiting for someone to back me up on it which is just getting a little bit frustrating.

“The only people who are backing me up at the moment is these punters and you lot.

“At least people are seeing what I am trying to do. At the same that is why I have been playing down the staying up message all the time because with what we have got it was always going to be hard.

“At the minute, everyone, the fans and everyone who is connected live day by the club day by day.

“The have supported this club for a long time. Sooner or later something has to be publically announced about a plan.

“Because I am out of contract at the end of the season. I am doing my best to get a plan in place but I have no assurances myself.

“But I have just forced myself to look at those positives and I am waiting for people to come from behind me and back me up on it.

Continuing with his promoting from within approach, Becchetti has handed the reins to former Under-16s manager and Webb’s assistant Omer Riza.

His first game in charge as Orient’s fifth manager of the season will be against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

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