Hearn blasts Olympic Stadium deal

Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn claims granting West Ham tenancy of the Olympic Stadium is a "massive, massive mistake".

Last Updated: 22/03/13 at 13:54 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn has hit out at the London Legacy Development Corporation for the "massive, massive mistake" of granting West Ham anchor tenancy of the Olympic Stadium.

Hearn has been opposed to the Barclays Premier League club moving to the stadium, which is a stones-throw from the Matchroom Stadium, home of npower League One outfit Orient.

Following Friday's announcement that West Ham will commence a 99-year lease of the stadium from the 2016/17 season, Hearn maintains the move could cause irreparable damage to his club, with the 64-year-old believing the LLDC did not consider a ground-sharing agreement between the two clubs in question

"The LLDC have made a massive, massive mistake," he told Press Association Sport.

"They are my lawyer's words and not mine, in as far as they have ignored their own rules so we are going to challenge that with a judicial review in the High Court.

"If we win then obviously discussions will be forced upon the LLDC and [mayor of London] Boris Johnson and everyone else and make sure they consider Leyton Orient.

"What does the world legacy really mean? I hear the word from politicians all the time and I don't think they can even spell the word.

"It is just a game. Well we are not in a game, we are in a fight for survival and we have to do everything available to us to continue the fight."

The drawn-out process to name an anchor tenant has long been questioned by Matchroom Sport chairman Hearn and he is still left with queries following the announcement.

"It is a mess, the whole thing has been a mess for the last six years, horribly handled by lots of different people," he said.

"We are at the point where we are seeing if the club that is 750 yards away from the Olympic Park are being abused, ignored and sledge-hammered by a massive club.

"We think they have over-stretched their mark and the taxpayer will have something to say about it, but in the meantime we want to preserve the independence and existence of Leyton Orient Football Club.

"It is unbelievable, I remember four or five years ago one of the Olympic organisers said the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium would be decided four months from that point.

"Although West Ham have been confirmed today as the tenants, there are still so many questions that need to be asked.

"It looks to me like there has been a deal done through a back-door somewhere and I have plenty of questions that need to be answered.

"Newham Borough Council have come up with £40million and in the difficult world when you are closing hospitals and libraries and putting people out of work, is this the right money to spend?

"West Ham are selling Upton Park but only contributing £15million to the stadium, should they be given a free home like this? I'm just asking a question.

"It does seem unfair that Arsenal and Tottenham are spending hundreds of millions of pounds on their own stadiums because they are stand-alone commercial enterprises and West Ham are being levered at huge discount and you have to ask yourself the question why. What has gone on for them to get that deal?"

If the judicial review falls in favour of Hearn it would mean the LLDC and West Ham would have to discuss the idea of ground-sharing the 54,000-seater stadium with Orient, something Hearn feels is crucial for the club.

"Their rules specify that all clubs must agree to the principle of teaming, ground-sharing," he added.

"Yet we have had no discussions about the ground-sharing opportunity which would solve Leyton Orient's problem in as far as we wouldn't be ostracised just down the road.

"We would be a part Olympic Park legacy and would have a chance to invest in our team and achieve our dreams."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Luton Town promoted to Football League after winning Conference Premier title

Luton Town have won promotion from the Conference Premier - ending a five-year absence from the Football League.

Premier League: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability to hold their lead in the loss at Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails importance of West Ham win

Arsene Wenger hailed the importance of Arsenal's victory over West Ham as his side came from behind to win 3-1.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property