LEYTON Orient Chairman Barry Hearn has hit back at rival club West Ham after it mocked his suggestion that the two football teams could share the Olympic stadium after the Games.

The O's fear they will lose fans and go out of business if a high-profile team moves into the arena, which is less than a mile from their current ground in Brisbane Road, Leyton.

In an earlier interview with the Waltham Forest Guardian, Mr Hearn said sharing the stadium in Stratford would be a "lesser of evils" and ensure the survival of Leyton Orient.

But West Ham responded in a statement by saying it was "amused" by Mr Hearn's "ever-changing position".

Mr Hearn previously said the stadium was not suitable for watching football but has changed his mind following suggestions that retractable seating could be built over the athletics track.

In a new statement released at the weekend, Mr Hearn attacked West Ham and called on Olympic legacy bosses to take him seriously.

He said: "West Ham's statement last week which referred to my 'ever-changing position' is patronising to say the least.

"A major club moving on to our doorstep would undoubtedly damage us."

He added: "I am glad West Ham think we are providing them with a constant source of amusement - we are a small community club with 130 years of history fighting to stay in business and they need to understand that we shall continue to challenge any decision that places the future of our football club in doubt.

"We deserve proper consideration and respect."

Mr Hearn said he is due to meet and discuss his proposals with Olympic legacy bosses, who will make the final decision on who runs the stadium after the Games.

He added that fans will be fully consulted on any possible changes.

A deal on who will run the stadium post-Games is expected to be signed in October.

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