Thu, February 17, 2011
Sports > Popular News

Orient to challenge Olympic Stadium decision

2011-02-17 02:31:07 GMT2011-02-17 10:31:07(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has asked Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson to review the decision to allow West Ham to inhabit the Olympic Stadium, seen here, after the 2012 Games. (AFP/File/Leon Neal)

LONDON – Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has asked Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson to review the decision to allow West Ham to inhabit the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

West Ham were named the preferred bidders by the Olympic Park Legacy Committee -- a decision that must still be ratified by Johnson and the British government.

However, as the club closest to the Stratford site, Hearn fears League One Orient's existence would be threatened by the Hammers' move across east London.

Hearn is in talks with his legal team about a judicial review, which could significantly delay the process of confirming West Ham's tenancy.

He has outlined his concerns to Cameron and Johnson as well as Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics.

Hearn's major worry concerns suggestions from West Ham that they would offer free and heavily discounted tickets to fill the stadium.

"It's a question of due process and whether the Olympic Park Legacy Committee, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and even the Prime Minister have given consideration to Leyton Orient in these discussions," Hearn said.

"The government has a responsibility to take into account all the effects of any ruling they take.

"The comments last week about the number of complimentary tickets available and family tickets for the price of a single ticket have grave implications for our club.

"Leyton Orient has been in existence for 130 years and by any stretch of the imagination we are the incumbent club.

"To have a giant like West Ham on our doorstep offering discounted and free tickets would seriously bring into question the survival of Leyton Orient.

"I find it incredible they would even consider making the decision before undergoing due process in regard to the effect on the incumbent football club."

(Agencies)

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