After their latest defeat to Hartlepool, Leyton Orient players have been forced to stay week long at a £100-per-night hotel.
The decision to punish the players was taken by the club owner Francesco Becchetti following the team’s 3-1 loss on Sunday.
The team was taken straight to £100-a-night Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey from Hartlepool where the League Two club’s 18 players and six staff members, including the club manager Ian Hendon and his assistant Andy Hessenthaler, have been holed up since Sunday evening.
Players are allowed to visit their family in their spare time but have to return back to the hotel to eat, sleep and live. As per reports, they are expected to stay there until atleast their Saturday’s home match against the York.
Italian businessman Becchetti is believed to have taken the bizarre decision in an attempt to halt Orient’s fall who have won only once in the last 12 League matches.
Becchetti is known to take unusual decisions when it comes to his club including making the squad train for an extra 10 days when they were relegated from League One at the end of last season. The 49 year old bought Orient for £4million in July last year and was also arrested earlier this month for fraud and money laundering cases on behalf of Albanian authorities
Club manager Hendon confirmed the news saying that everyone has been staying in the hotel since Sunday.
“I wouldn’t want to be the one paying the bill. The owner has had different sporting ventures over the years and he said sometimes it’s good to get together and spend time together,” said Hendon.
“It helps team bonding. When the owner suggested it I thought why not try something different.”
Football operations manager Vito Miceli, football advisor Gianluca Romano and chief executive Alessandro Angelieri are the other staff members who have been forced to stay at the hotel.
It is understood that the cost will run into several thousands of pounds.
The squad have been travelling together to and from their Chigwell training ground, five minutes drive away from the hotel, by coach.
On being asked if the players will be allowed to return home after the York match, Hendon said, “If we win four or five-nil the owner might ask us to move here permanently.”
“We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re staying at a hotel. There are plenty of army camps I know about in deepest darkest woods if we wanted to do that.”
Hendon, 43, who earlier worked as a coach at West Ham was appointed as Orient’s manager in May.
The League Two club started the season with five straight wins but have dropped to seventh.