Leyton Orient launch challenge over West Ham Olympic Stadium rights
14:16 06 March 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has launched proceedings for a judicial review over the decision to allow West Ham to seek sole tenancy rights to the Olympic Stadium.
Hearn believes the London Legacy Development Corporation has broken its own rules in not allowing the League One club to be ‘teamed’ with the Hammers in the bidding process.
Hearn, who wants his own club and the Hammers to become joint tenants of the £429million stadium, has repeated his claim that the O’s will have no future if the Hammers move in.
Hearn told his club’s official website: “I was concerned that this was a done deal for West Ham before the bidding began, but the fact that both clubs had to commit to teaming made me believe that we were getting involved in a fair process.
“However, the LLDC have not stuck by their own rules and have left Orient with no option but to challenge their decision in the Courts.
“We don’t intend to interfere with West Ham’s residency at the stadium, but maintain the position that if they are going to be there, then we need to be there too.
“As I have said many times before, if West Ham move to the stadium and we are left a mile up the road, Leyton Orient will not survive.”
Hearn was also part of a judicial review in 2011, which included Tottenham and resulted in the process of awarding tenancy rights to the stadium being abandoned.
The LLDC board, which is tasked with sorting out the stadium’s future, named West Ham as the number one choice to move into the Olympic Stadium in December.
An LLDC spokesman said: “We have been notified that Leyton Orient have made the decision to issue proceedings for judicial review.
“Whilst this is disappointing, we believe that our processes have been robust, fair and transparent and that the challenge is misconceived.”