Hearn hoping for court decision against Olympic Stadium ruling

Leyton Orient's plea to groundshare the Olympic Stadium with West Ham has fallen on deaf ears, but the League One club's chairman believes the decision is in breach of the rules
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has appealed the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) decision to make West Ham the sole tenants of the Olympic Stadium.

It was announced on Friday that West Ham had won their appeal to become the new tenants of the stadium following a judgement by the LLDC, which will see them begin their occupancy of the ground from 2016.

However, Hearn is adamant the decision to allow West Ham the sole tenancy whilst ignoring their pleas for ground sharing is in breach of their own rules, and is seeking action with a judicial review.

"We have applied to the High Court for a judicial review regarding the Olympic Stadium. We think today's announcement is jumping the gun,” Hearn told reporters following the announcement.

"The decision of the High Court will concern whether the bidding process rules were followed by LLDC. We say they weren't, and that we weren't given the opportunity to enter into the 'teaming' [groundshare] discussions that the bid process allows.

"We think this is a fundamental flaw in the bidding process and we're applying to the High Court for a ruling to sling the whole lot out. They may have jumped the gun."

The Olympic Stadium opened in 2011 in preparation of the London Olympics the following year, and is situated just three miles away from Orient’s current home ground, Brisbane Road.

However, Hearn believes the decision, which also granted extra funding from the government to convert the venue into a football-friendly stadium, may hinder the future of the club as a result, and does not believe the current proposal is in the interests of the community.

He continued: "The bidding process rules were agreed by everybody," he said. "West Ham, Leyton Orient and the other bidders, agreed to the principle of 'teaming', and yet we weren't allowed to investigate the possibilities of teaming, which would have allowed Leyton Orient to survive.

"We are the community club, not a multi-million pound commercial enterprise, clearly now being sponsored by the government.

"What we're left with is a situation where the government, and Newham Borough Council, are clearly subsidising and sponsoring a major commercials enterprise, paying for it out of taxpayers' money.”