Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
Orient fans fight for the 'lost tribe of London' over West Ham move
A group of Leyton Orient fans has launched a bid to prevent West Ham United taking over the Olympic Stadium.
The supporters claim the move breaks league rules blocking one club moving too close to another.
The Olympic Stadium is less than a mile from The O’s home in Brisbane Road and the fans claim the Hammers are moving on to the League One club’s patch.
Echoing claims made by Orient chairman Barry Hearn, the group believe West Ham’s move from Upton Park could put the O’s out of business if cheap tickets are offered to local people in an attempt to fill the showpiece area in Stratford.
They have contacted football clubs up and down the country in an attempt to get as many supporters as possible behind a campaign.
More than 3,500 supporters have signed up to a dedicated Facebook page and an online petition has been signed by 400 people.
Group leader, Mat Roper, an O’s fan for 35 years, said: "We want to highlight how unfair this whole affair is.
“One legacy of the 2012 Olympics could be the death of one of the country's oldest professional football clubs, surely that can't be right."
Mr Roper has also hit out at the amount of taxpayers’ money being spent on converting the Olympic Stadium.
According to reports, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport are contributing £38million while from the Department of Community and Local Government is providing £25million.
The petition will be presented to the London Legacy Development Committee (LLDC) and the Mayor of London’s office and the Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson.
The club has launched a second bid for a judicial review aimed at forcing decision-makers to consider a ground share between the two clubs and a decision is due on Thursday.
Barry Hearn, Chairman of Leyton Orient Football Club, said: "Leyton Orient could become the lost tribe of London.
"No youngster in our catchment area would go to Leyton Orient if West Ham are at the Olympic Stadium.”
A spokeswoman for the LLDC previously said they were “disappointed” by Orient’s decision to pursue a second judicial review.
"We believe that our processes have been robust, fair and transparent and that the challenge is misconceived," she added.
The Mayor’s office, LLDC and West Ham United FC have been contacted for a comment.
Comments are closed on this article.