Orient’s Simpson to meet Punjabi O’s before return from FA suspension

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Orient’s Simpson to meet Punjabi O’s before return from FA suspension

Punjabi O’s supporters’ group to meet Jack Simpson before his return after serving a ban for directing a racial slur at a Punjabi former team-mate; Punjabi O’s say they were consulted by Leyton Orient CEO Mark Devlin prior to Simpson’s signing and are due to meet Orient boss Richie Wellens

Friday 15 March 2024 18:41, UK

Leyton Orient’s Jack Simpson will meet South Asian-led supporters’ group the Punjabi O’s before returning to action after serving a ban for directing a racial slur at a team-mate, the group have announced.

Punjabi O’s, who are supported by the Fans’ for Diversity Campaign, have also revealed club CEO Mark Devlin consulted with them ahead of Leyton Orient completing Simpson’s signing – and that manager Richie Wellens has also requested a meeting with them. Leyton Orient have been contacted by Sky Sports News.

Simpson joined Orient at the beginning of the month on an initial contract until the end of the season “with a view to extending his deal in the summer”.

The 27-year-old defender left Cardiff City by “mutual consent” in August 2023, after admitting to directing a racial slur towards his then Cardiff team-mate Rohan Luthra on a pre-season tour.

Jack Simpson

Image: Jack Simpson is yet to make his debut for Leyton Orient

Simpson publicly apologised in November – two days after Sky Sports News revealed the FA had no plans to appeal the six-match suspension, £8,000 fine and education order given to Simpson by an independent regulatory commission.

The Punjabi O’s praised Orient CEO Devlin for taking an open approach towards consulting with them ahead of signing Simpson.

The statement said: “Because Mark was proactive, and so willing to address our concerns, we decided to accept the signing – on the understanding that Jack would be investing time and effort in educating himself, contributing to our local community during his time in East London, and that the story would become an opportunity to do some good.

“We have been assured of a face-to-face meeting with Jack Simpson. This meeting is in the process of being scheduled and will take place before his suspension has finished.

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“Mark has given us complete freedom to ask any questions of Jack that we wish. So, we intend to ask some searching questions, and we will be making up our own minds about Jack’s character and his suitability to represent the club that we have fallen in love with.”

The statement added: “We are also in the process of setting up a meeting with Richie Wellens, at his request, to discuss this issue.”

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Leyton Orient and Port Vale.

Simpson looks eligible to return to competitive action for Leyton Orient’s game at home to Cheltenham Town on April 6.

Punjabi O’s are Orient’s newest fans’ group and were launched seven weeks ago.

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