Leyton Orient chairman expects Tottenham Carabao Cup fixture to be rescheduled and still played despite imminent cancellation

talksport.com, 22 September 2020, 05:27
Leyton Orient chairman expects Tottenham Carabao Cup fixture to be rescheduled and still played despite imminent cancellation
Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis expects the Carabao Cup fixture against Tottenham to be replayed despite an imminent announcement confirming Tuesday's match has been called off.

Orient on Monday announced that 'a number' of their first-team squad had tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of their clash with Spurs.

Testing, which was paid for by Tottenham, took place after their draw with Mansfield on Saturday and the positive cases forced Orient to contact the EFL and Spurs over their Carabao Cup tie.

Many were expecting an official announcement on Monday to confirm the cancellation of the match but as of 10am on Tuesday the fixture was still due to go ahead - just EIGHT hours later.

Chairman Travis joined talkSPORT shortly after 10am to discuss the positive coronavirus cases and the upcoming Spurs match.

He claimed Orient have a team ready to play but expects it to be called off and it is his understanding that Tottenham will NOT be given a bye to the next round.

"I think it's highly unlikely," replied Travis when asked if the match will go ahead.

"We heard just before we came on air that we're expected to get a communication from authorities any time now, that that game will be off.

"We haven't formerly had that. We're expecting it and have heard it's coming, but we haven't seen it.

"And just to be clear, the game is a postponement, not a cancellation."

Travis strongly backed his view that the match should be postponed, rather than outright cancelled with Spurs going through into the fourth round.

While the game was scheduled to take place behind closed doors, Orient were set to financially benefit as the match was chosen for broadcast on talkSPORT and also live television.

And Travis insists he will do all he can to ensure the fixture is rescheduled and played at a later date.

"We have talked to the EFL," he continued, "and we are assuming this is a postponement

"We're going to lose £2.5million this year, also anything that can help us reduce that loss is clearly important. We are struggling so games like this have to take place.

"We have a great relationship with Spurs, we've looked at their fixtures and this game can be played. There has to be a will, because this game is worth £150,000 profit to us, so we have to play this game.

"I recognise the guidelines and we have spoken to the league about extenuating circumstances. I can assure you, we will not be the first club facing this this year. Even Man City had a player test positive recently.

He continued: "We expect this game to be played and we will campaign very strongly for this game to be played. Clubs of our size depend on games like this."

Club statement: Covid-19

We have received formal confirmation that a number of our first-team squad have tested positive for COVID-19.

Read more: https://t.co/3lhR7C8vRU

— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc) September 21, 2020

Reports claimed up to 18 players and staff tested positive for COVID-19, but Travis announced there is still no final figure for the total cases

"We're still waiting for the final numbers, so we don't know," he added. "It's been a strange process because Tottenham asked us to do these tests and we did it very willingly.

"It's a good thing for our players to know whether they had any symptoms or not, but we're still waiting for the detailed written reports. In the EFL it's different, we just get a pass or fail.

"We had a significant number of positives, but we don't know the official number.

"We have a team ready to play and just to be clear, these are people who have been socially distanced, they haven't had direct contract apart from playing the game. So we did have a team ready to play tonight."

Watch a clip of Nigel Travis on talkSPORT, above…

Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis expects the Carabao Cup fixture against Tottenham to be replayed despite an imminent announcement confirming Tuesday's match has been called off.

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