Filed: Monday, 23rd July 2012
By: Mr Preview Percy
The recent bout of sunshine has brought Preview Percy out of his close season hibernation and he's fed up with the moveable feast that is Barry Hearn...
Let me get a couple of things out of the way first. The Olympic Stadium – I haven’t a clue whether we should move there or not. This is simply because for all the statements that come from the club which tell us all wonderful it will all be when we get there, nobody is allowed to say how such Nirvana is to be achieved due to “confidentiality”. Fair enough but until I have enough information on which to base an opinion I’ll hang on until forming one.
Secondly, I have no axe to grind with Leyton Orient fans per se – to be honest I struggle to reach mild indifference as far as they’re concerned. No, it’s Barry Hearn who gets on my nerves.
Hearn is a man of principle, it has to be said. The trouble is that he seems to have more than most in that department – and they tend to change pretty frequently. Throughout the whole Olympic process, at various times he has been in favour of taking it over for his club, in favour of Spurs taking it over, then nobody taking it over.
Until recently the place was said to be "totally unfit" for football before the most recent change of mind saw Hearn revert back to his opening position of wanting to move in, apparently totally oblivious to the irony of his club making a move into another borough. Presumably his gracious invitation to the club already located in the borough in question to share the place is designed to disguise that particular logical inconsistency.
Hearn’s latest pronouncement does rather plumb new depths though:
"I had a Martin Luther King moment. I had a dream. We are a community club and we tick a lot of boxes. We are debt-free and have a sensible business plan. I looked at the Olympic Stadium and said 'why not?'. If our dream is shared by those people that are in charge of the Olympic facilities, who's to say what can be achieved? Is it about money legacy, or the real ethos of the Olympic Games, which is the community aspect?"
Now I realise that the world of sports promotion is prone to hyperbole and that those involved are not exactly backward in blowing their own trumpets. However to compare oneself to a Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent his life – and indeed lost it - campaigning against injustice when your contribution to the world in which we live includes 'Snooker Loopy' is a bit crass, to say the least.
Still, he’s doing it all for the "community" which must make it alright surely? Well pardon me for being suspicious, but whenever I hear someone wealthy use the word "community" my sensors start to twitch. You see, all too often that word is used to cover a multitude of sins.
You know the sort of thing: "Yes, we’re building the nuclear waste plant two feet from your baby’s window but the risk of polonium poisoning is minuscule when you consider the wider benefits to the community" (translation – yes it’ll be full of radioactive waste but the council is getting shedloads of money for allowing them to build it there).
Now I’ll admit I’m one of life's more cynical coves so I took a step back from it all thinking "maybe it’s just me". However I’m not alone in holding this opinion. My ally is a surprising one (or, more accurately if you’ve been paying attention thus far, a totally unsurprising one). Speaking a few years back guess who said:
"At the end of the day if someone is misguided enough to think I'm going to risk my personal fortune for a football club then they should be in a funny farm. I'm going to put enough in to keep it going and hopefully to have some fun myself. It's quite selfish. I'm doing this for Barry Hearn. I'm not doing it for the fans. The number of chairmen who say 'I'm doing it for the community' - to be honest that's a load of b******s. I'm doing this for me and I think that's the fans' best hope. I'm never going to fall out of love with me."
For all Hearn’s blustering about the effect of West Ham United moving a few hundred yards closer to Brisbane Road (and if I were an Orient fan I’d feel a bit insulted at the suggestion that I wouldn’t already be able to find my way the extra 0.9 miles to the Boleyn if I wanted to) the suggestion has to be that Hearn’s interest in the whole affair is governed more by the sentiments expressed in his 2006 interview than his 2012 pronouncement - especially given the fact that it’s a matter of record that Hearn would be the major beneficiary of any sale of Brisbane Road.
If Leyton Orient do go out of business after any move that we make it won't be our fault – though we’ll make a damn good diversionary scapegoat. Hearn constantly states that their current attendances do not make the club a viable prospect but conveniently omits the fact that we’re on their doorstep already.
He's fond of quoting the old "Tesco moving next door to the corner shop" analogy. However given we moved into the Boleyn well before they nicked Brisbane Road, perhaps a better comparison would be the grumpy old sod who moves next door to Tesco, opens up a crap corner shop that nobody uses then complains when they move to the house on the other side.
I have a dream, my a*se...
So do us some favours Barry.
1) If you must open your mouth on subjects other than the dodgy pub games you make a living from, try and be consistent. Look up on the web to see what your position was last week - it’ll save everyone time in the long run;
2) Stop pretending that your position is prompted by altruistic motives. Everyone knows they’re not, you know that everyone knows that they’re not and it’s an insult to everyone’s intelligence to suggest otherwise;
3) If you do have to make public pronouncements, pick someone more suitable to compare yourself to than someone who died defending human rights. And finally;
4) If you want to curry favour with the public why not locate and destroy every copy of 'Snooker Loopy' ever pressed. It won’t put you in Martin Luther King’s league but it’ll make the community a better place – which is all you are after, isn’t it..?
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
by Preview Percy
11:26AM 1st Aug 2012
''@PinkPalermo: The suggestion that I am - or even may be - the same person who inflicted "Snooker Loopy" on the world is insulting in the extreme. You will be hearing from my solicitors as soon as I can find one who hasn't put me on their blacklist!''
by The pink palermo
03:06AM 29th Jul 2012
''And here was me thinking Preview Percy WAS Barry Hearn, or perhaps the other way around?''
by Preview Percy
11:20AM 26th Jul 2012
''Hi Wembley - Old and vaguely insane person responding to your comments in the same spirit of peace!
I'd like to take slight issue with your comment that "the prospect of WHU being spitting distance away in a subsidised mega-stadium which they have to fill is a bit threatening for Orient".
As mentioned I have no brief either for or against the Olympic move due to insufficient data. However the Tesco analogy brought up by Mr Hearn does rather ignore one basic fact about football supporters. Which is that by and large they change allegiance with even less regularity than a Frenchman changes his underwear. You may shop at Tesco/Sainsbury/The corner shop depending on convenienc/price/what you need at the time because you have the choice. However, the comparison doesn't work for football - if I want to go to West Ham there's only the one West Ham to go to.
If Man Utd pitched up in Docklands in an attempt to move a bit closer to their supporters would I suddenly start supporting them instead of West Ham? Of course not. I don't suppose Orient supporters are any different in that respect.
West Ham & Leyton Orient are already paired for fixture purposes so we don't play on the same day anyway so Hearn's whole argument is based on the supposition that everyone will simply stop going to Brisbane Road if West Ham move 1500 yards. Which I'd say is a bit insulting to O's fans wouldn't you?''
07:46AM 25th Jul 2012
''Orient fan in peace: While I understand your scepticism against Barry Hearn's rather ill-chosen analogies, you have to admit that the prospect of WHU being spitting distance away in a subsidised mega-stadium which they have to fill is a bit threatening for Orient. Even if you can't be arsed to let them into your thoughts some days, live and let live among real football fans is a healthy way to be.
The four scenarios for me are:
1). Hammers and O's both stay where they are.
2). Both go to Stratford.
3). WHU go to Stratford, Orient stay put.
4). Orient go to Stratford, WHU stay put.
The first is my personal favorite, Hearn doesn't get to cash in on Brisbane Road and Hammers are no more a threat than they ever were - ergo, we stand or fall as per today. I could live with the second if there's really no other way out - but the third is a tad unimaginable and the fourth in many ways threatening.''
06:00PM 24th Jul 2012
by Mark Goodman
07:38AM 24th Jul 2012
''Brilliant article - says it all really. Laughed my socks off at the 'snooker loopy' comment! Thanks.''
07:18AM 24th Jul 2012
''I grew up in Essex. We supported our local football team.... I thought, Mr Hernia has opened my eyes to what a "community disservice" pitching up to North bank to chuck 4 quid through the turnstile was.
Y'see as the crow flies my nearest football team was Leyton Orient. However as a youngster I used to travel by tube, rather than by crow (except for the cheeky taking advantage of the Fenchurch Street line as far as Barking.... couldn't help it, it was football in the eighties, which meant we were all criminals anyway).
So to see my "local" team, I would have had to keep my backside firmly planted on the seat past Upton Park, trundled onto Mile end and back out to Leytonstone. Of course I could have bussed it out to Romford and caught the pork-pie rattler to some armpit called Stretford or Stortford or something, but who'd want to go there....? (My apologies to both Dagenham and Redbridge and the number 87 bus, but when I were a lad, the Daggers were non-league, which would render the complete lack of relevance to the article to which I am adding this comment well, irrelevant; and besides, this rational would make me a Hornchurch Harrier) so I apologise to Baz for my childhood geographical laxadaisicality (sic.) ''
by gary carter
07:08AM 24th Jul 2012
''I hope we tell Mr Hearn to do one in no uncertain terms. His constantly changing views are laughable, we should have nothing to do with him... END OF!''
07:05AM 24th Jul 2012
''Brilliant and spot on!''
by Darren styles
06:35AM 24th Jul 2012
''Absolutely brilliant, and hilarious. One can only hope that our owners are sufficiently adroit to drive a coach and horses through his white noise, and over him given a chance. I don't think he and David Gold are friends...''
06:11AM 24th Jul 2012
''Wow. Are you sure Derron Brown didn't write this as you've just read my mind perfectly. Bang bloody on!''
05:03AM 24th Jul 2012
''Made me laugh, good article, but with some pretty relevant points. Being born in the East End, Leyton Orient have always been a team I have some affinity with, and they were actually the first team I went to see when living in Hackney, even before West Ham. However, if I was an avid follower of Orient, I would be cringing at Barry Hearn, as you say, his "credibility" is pretty thin! I thought we were a bit of a circus a couple of years back when the Davids were slagging off Zola publicly, but he is taking it to a new level. ''
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