WALTHAM FOREST: Leyton Orient Olympic Stadium move 'lesser of evils'

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn.

First published in Leyton Orient East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

LEYTON Orient chairman Barry Hearn has confirmed he wants the club to move into the Olympic Stadium with West Ham FC after the Games.

A fierce bidding war is currently underway over who will get to run the arena in Stratford – which is less than a mile away from Orient's current home in Brisbane Road, Leyton – with a final decision expected this October.

The club fears it will lose fans if a high-profile rival moves onto the Olympic site, with Mr Hearn believing they would have "no choice" but to move from Leyton if that happened.

Mr Hearn told the Guardian: "originally we were interested in the tenancy for the Olympic Stadium but when we saw what they did with the athletics track it became clear it wouldn't be suitable for football.

"But now there's a suggestion that the Olympics people might install and pay for [retractable] seating over the track, which is why we're interested again.

"We wouldn't open the top tiers, but just the lower part which would provide seats for 25,000 people."

Mr Hearn said he had approached the London Legacy Development Corporation and was due to meet with them to discuss the proposals further.

He said: "If it happened, I wouldn't so much see it as ground share with West Ham. Leyton Orient would just be another tenant, so we would be one of a number of users.

"If West Ham move in and we stay where we are we'd go out of business. But if we were also there, going to the stadium would be part of the experience for our fans.

"Football would become a weekly fixture and people would get used to going every week to see different teams."

West Ham say they are unable to comment on the bidding process for legal reasons.

But the Guardian understands the club has no plans to meet with Mr Hearn to discuss his proposals.

Responding to concerns about the prospect of Leyton Orient leaving its roots in Waltham Forest, Mr Hearn said: "We'd rather stay where we are, but we have to choose the lesser of evils.

"And I look at the season ticket holders and only about five or six per cent of them are local to Leyton Orient."

Referring to the elongated saga over the stadium's legacy, Mr Hearn added: "The problem with the bidding process is the Olympic Legacy people keep moving the goalposts.

"I think there's a lot more twists left in this one."

Meanwhile the Leyton Orient Fans Trust have issued a statement in response to reports of the possible move.

They said: "We will ascertain what the club's plans are before commenting further, however we remain of the view that the Olympic Stadium is not fit for football use and that it would be much better served as an athletics and other community use stadium - including non-football sports.

"We trust that Barry Hearn will keep to his stated view that he wouldn't make anyone watch football from behind a running track.

"We also trust that he will honour his commitment at the recent club AGM to consult fully with supporters before any possible move away from Brisbane Road, our home of the past 75 years.

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Comments (14)

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11:53am Thu 31 May 12

cbenee says...

so if only 5% of Orients season ticket holders are from Leyton, how exactly does his argument that West Ham moving into a satidum which is oin te old lOndon borough of West Ham work?

We all knwo the real reasons behind this Mr Hearn

Who owns the land at Brisbane Road again????????
so if only 5% of Orients season ticket holders are from Leyton, how exactly does his argument that West Ham moving into a satidum which is oin te old lOndon borough of West Ham work? We all knwo the real reasons behind this Mr Hearn Who owns the land at Brisbane Road again???????? cbenee
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Thu 31 May 12

mdj says...

'Mr Hearn said: "We'd rather stay where we are, but we have to choose the lesser of evils.

"And I look at the season ticket holders and only about five or six per cent of them are local to Leyton Orient."

For a man who wants to stay put, Mr Hearn keeps his wishes well hidden! How many moving plans has he bandied about in the last few years? cbenee has identified the key point: follow the money.
Why has he not formed a plan to become Becontree Orient? The Olympic stadium is actually further from the Tube than Brisbane Rd, and the seats will certainly not be cheaper. Can he publish any consultations he has had with the season-ticket holders, or are they just livestock on his ranch?
This story cannot be complete without a comment from the Council, whose record of dealings over the ground require explanation, to put it mildly.
'Mr Hearn said: "We'd rather stay where we are, but we have to choose the lesser of evils. "And I look at the season ticket holders and only about five or six per cent of them are local to Leyton Orient." For a man who wants to stay put, Mr Hearn keeps his wishes well hidden! How many moving plans has he bandied about in the last few years? cbenee has identified the key point: follow the money. Why has he not formed a plan to become Becontree Orient? The Olympic stadium is actually further from the Tube than Brisbane Rd, and the seats will certainly not be cheaper. Can he publish any consultations he has had with the season-ticket holders, or are they just livestock on his ranch? This story cannot be complete without a comment from the Council, whose record of dealings over the ground require explanation, to put it mildly. mdj
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Thu 31 May 12

englandsnumber6 says...

west ham dont want to share with another club, you have laughed at a 60k stadium being half full, how laughable would it be with just 5k fans, and thats orient on a good day. why dont you just sell of the remainder of brisbane rd to development and let the tenants watch through their bedroom windows.
west ham dont want to share with another club, you have laughed at a 60k stadium being half full, how laughable would it be with just 5k fans, and thats orient on a good day. why dont you just sell of the remainder of brisbane rd to development and let the tenants watch through their bedroom windows. englandsnumber6
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Thu 31 May 12

cbenee says...

yep

hearn wants a new ground

the reason is nothing to with what's good for Leyton Orient

it's all about the fact that he personally owns the real estate at Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient are unlikely to profit form this move, however Barry hearn PERSONALLY will make a HUGE amount of money
yep hearn wants a new ground the reason is nothing to with what's good for Leyton Orient it's all about the fact that he personally owns the real estate at Brisbane Road Leyton Orient are unlikely to profit form this move, however Barry hearn PERSONALLY will make a HUGE amount of money cbenee
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Thu 31 May 12

cbenee says...

Gold and Sullivan have already guaranteed that every single penny raised from the sale of Upton park will be used either paying club debts, or buying players


Is Mr Hearn willing to make that same guarantee to Orient fans?
Gold and Sullivan have already guaranteed that every single penny raised from the sale of Upton park will be used either paying club debts, or buying players Is Mr Hearn willing to make that same guarantee to Orient fans? cbenee
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Thu 31 May 12

JRP Hackney says...

cbenee wrote:
Gold and Sullivan have already guaranteed that every single penny raised from the sale of Upton park will be used either paying club debts, or buying players


Is Mr Hearn willing to make that same guarantee to Orient fans?
Gold and Sullivan are two of the biggest shysters this side of the asteroid belt.....and you believe what they say??????
[quote][p][bold]cbenee[/bold] wrote: Gold and Sullivan have already guaranteed that every single penny raised from the sale of Upton park will be used either paying club debts, or buying players Is Mr Hearn willing to make that same guarantee to Orient fans?[/p][/quote]Gold and Sullivan are two of the biggest shysters this side of the asteroid belt.....and you believe what they say?????? JRP Hackney
  • Score: 0

6:53am Fri 1 Jun 12

englandsnumber6 says...

JRP Hackney wrote:
cbenee wrote:
Gold and Sullivan have already guaranteed that every single penny raised from the sale of Upton park will be used either paying club debts, or buying players


Is Mr Hearn willing to make that same guarantee to Orient fans?
Gold and Sullivan are two of the biggest shysters this side of the asteroid belt.....and you believe what they say??????
JRP hackney. its very clever making stupid statements but you cant back it up, gold/Sullivan are the 2 most successful chairmen in British football, you are a fool, wait and see what will happen with the olympic stadium, it wont concern Hearn or Sugar. you must be a yid fan you mug
[quote][p][bold]JRP Hackney[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cbenee[/bold] wrote: Gold and Sullivan have already guaranteed that every single penny raised from the sale of Upton park will be used either paying club debts, or buying players Is Mr Hearn willing to make that same guarantee to Orient fans?[/p][/quote]Gold and Sullivan are two of the biggest shysters this side of the asteroid belt.....and you believe what they say??????[/p][/quote]JRP hackney. its very clever making stupid statements but you cant back it up, gold/Sullivan are the 2 most successful chairmen in British football, you are a fool, wait and see what will happen with the olympic stadium, it wont concern Hearn or Sugar. you must be a yid fan you mug englandsnumber6
  • Score: 0

10:13am Fri 1 Jun 12

badal says...

so all that money spent on trying to stop west ham moving to Qlympic now he want to move in with them.
so all that money spent on trying to stop west ham moving to Qlympic now he want to move in with them. badal
  • Score: 0

11:15am Fri 1 Jun 12

englandsnumber6 says...

badal wrote:
so all that money spent on trying to stop west ham moving to Qlympic now he want to move in with them.
Hearns legal bill must be astronomic & now he wants to recoup. WHU fans have propped up orients attendances for 40 years, i hope the pisspot little outfit goes out of business, i used to have a soft spot for them but Hearn has made you a laughing stock. Building apartments around the stadium and not having enough seats for sale in a cup run, how clever is that.
[quote][p][bold]badal[/bold] wrote: so all that money spent on trying to stop west ham moving to Qlympic now he want to move in with them.[/p][/quote]Hearns legal bill must be astronomic & now he wants to recoup. WHU fans have propped up orients attendances for 40 years, i hope the pisspot little outfit goes out of business, i used to have a soft spot for them but Hearn has made you a laughing stock. Building apartments around the stadium and not having enough seats for sale in a cup run, how clever is that. englandsnumber6
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Fri 1 Jun 12

cbenee says...

jrp

what do you base it on?

Their successful businesses they've both built up from scratch to become worth over a biliion quid between them?

They way they took Birmingham over for a quid in the old third division, and then sold them for 80 million as a premier league club?

Or are you just making stuff up?
jrp what do you base it on? Their successful businesses they've both built up from scratch to become worth over a biliion quid between them? They way they took Birmingham over for a quid in the old third division, and then sold them for 80 million as a premier league club? Or are you just making stuff up? cbenee
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Fri 1 Jun 12

aylesburyos says...

Gold &Sullivan are shYsters.They got their money from ****.It is not their stadium .Let the Os USE IT AS WLLE
Gold &Sullivan are shYsters.They got their money from ****.It is not their stadium .Let the Os USE IT AS WLLE aylesburyos
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Fri 1 Jun 12

cbenee says...

I don't really care where their money comes from

Would yo turn down a billion quid if it came form **** then? of course not

Fine let teh O'd use it

In which case West Ham will pull out entirely, I'm sure the O's can afford the 6 million quid a year rent, right?

Or does Mr Hearn cost teh british tax payer yet MORE money than he already has?
I don't really care where their money comes from Would yo turn down a billion quid if it came form **** then? of course not Fine let teh O'd use it In which case West Ham will pull out entirely, I'm sure the O's can afford the 6 million quid a year rent, right? Or does Mr Hearn cost teh british tax payer yet MORE money than he already has? cbenee
  • Score: 0

10:52pm Fri 1 Jun 12

aylesburyos says...

Shammers will be in the championship in a year anyway.Why dont They go off to Essex where all their fans live take the **** Bros with the,I thought they supported Brum anyway.Nasty little men as for Brady...........
Shammers will be in the championship in a year anyway.Why dont They go off to Essex where all their fans live take the **** Bros with the,I thought they supported Brum anyway.Nasty little men as for Brady........... aylesburyos
  • Score: 0

1:25am Tue 5 Jun 12

ColinOrient says...

Enjoy the next 12 months of hammerings, the bubbles will be blown to bits at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and even Carrow Road. Like the man says, you do not own the Olympic Stadium and it's a pity too many Hammers fans are too spineless to say even they hate the prospect of having to bring binoculars to see the likes of Huddersfield, Barnsley and Hull in fifteen months time.
Enjoy the next 12 months of hammerings, the bubbles will be blown to bits at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and even Carrow Road. Like the man says, you do not own the Olympic Stadium and it's a pity too many Hammers fans are too spineless to say even they hate the prospect of having to bring binoculars to see the likes of Huddersfield, Barnsley and Hull in fifteen months time. ColinOrient
  • Score: 0

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