Leyton Join Olympic Stadium Race, But Has Boris Already Decided On Tenants?

By M@ Last edited 78 months ago
Leyton Join Olympic Stadium Race, But Has Boris Already Decided On Tenants?

"We will rent it, which will cover the running costs, to a football club – which may very well be...in fact will be....West Ham."

So says Boris Johnson, the man who will decide...has decided, it seems...the anchor tenants for the Olympic stadium after 2012.

"Why should anyone now bid?" asks Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn, "the Mayor has made his mind up."

Contrary to his own reservations, though, Hearn has submitted an application that would see Leyton move into the stadium come 2014. The O's are the nearest team to the Olympic Park and any larger club moving into the stadium could pose a threat to Orient's survival. Such sporting hegemony seemed likely until last week, when a joint bid by West Ham and Newham Council to buy the stadium collapsed. The arena will now remain in public hands, to be rented out to a successful bidder.

For an Orient application to be realistic, the ground would have to be scaled back to 25,000 seats while retaining the running track. The latter must be guaranteed until at least 2017, to accommodate the World Athletics Championships, should London's bid be successful.

Hearn also questions the legitimacy of West Ham's bid to rent the stadium. He points out that permission for West Ham to shift grounds was originally approved by the Premier League and not the Football League, in which the relegated side now play. Hearn believes that the Football League would not countenance a move that would jeopardise the business of another member club (i.e. Leyton Orient). West Ham responded by saying they'd "applied in accordance with the rules and regulations and have been granted permission to move to the Olympic Stadium." Which is no doubt true, but doesn't address Hearn's assertion that the granted permission may no longer be valid.

The key quote, however, remains the one at the top of this post. If the Mayor has already sided with the Hammers' application, other bids seem little more than pretty bubbles in the air. Besides, the West Ham claret and blue would go so well with the Orbit tower.

Last Updated 19 October 2011


The OS is in Newham (used to be West Ham) West Ham are in Newham, Hearn's O's aren't in Newham! 
West Ham have already answered Hearn's allegation that they are not allowed to move in to the OS. They ARE allowed. In fact the O's moving from one borough to another with a FL club aleady in it is against the rules that he is so happy to quote!
The country needs a 60k stadium to bid for 2017, Hearn wants a 25k stadium.
O's average gate is 3,700 ... great Olympic legacy!
Why didn't Hearn bid for the OS last time round?

Bottom line he wants a bung like Spurs!


Whatever is wrong with Hearn's case - they'd rattle around horribly in a stadium with a running track - the fact that a borough boundary, drawn up by a bureaucrat in the 60s,  passes through the mile or so between the Olympic Park and Brisbane Road has sod all to do with it. If you're going to wrap yourself in the Local Government Handbook, tell them to move back to Clapton (ie LB Hackney).

Incidentally - "Leyton" are a separate football team, older than Orient and based on the Lea Bridge Road. And currently in a bit of trouble.


Dear Barry Hearn

Please could you explain your point rather than repeat the same misguided statement over and over again. It would appear that you oppose West Ham moving within their borough to a ready built stadium (WITHIN THEIR BOROUGH) because it would affect your business; please explain how. Are you implying that Leyon Orient supporters are fickle and would therefore switch allegiance to West Ham because they have a nice new stadium? Also, please could you explain how it would be okay for you to move your club out of your borough and INTO WEST HAM's because I don't see how that isn't an horrendous example of double standards. If your aim is to prevent West Ham moving closer to you in order to (somehow) save your business, then okay, there is some sort of point (a point that is nevertheless affected by the 'Life's not fair, get over it' law, which was passed at the beginning of time), BUT, if you then attempt to move your business closer to West Ham's and increase your capacity to 25,000, are you not, in fact, putting West Ham's business at risk, and entirely undermining the single point you have repeated in sound bite after sound bite. I'm sorry to ask you such silly questions, but I can not, for the life of me, fathom what on earth your point is.

Yours sincerely

I L Logical


Barry Hearn's arguements change with the wind. When the sale was scuppered Barry said now everyone had a chance to take on the lease. He would even consider a ground share. Then he said West Ham weren't  able to take on the lease under football league rules. It wasn't too long ago he said he wasn't interested at all in taking the stadium and he wished Spurs luck in acquiring it. But then got the hump because West Ham wanted it. Before that he wanted to move Orient to Harlow or Basildon because he had no fans in Leyton. I'm very confused. The only thing I have learned form all this is Orient must have really terrible fans because according to Barry they'll switch teams at the drop of a hat. If I'm wrong maybe Orient fans should give him a bung to get him to shut up, he's making them look bad.