Filed: Wednesday, 30th May 2012
By: Staff Writer
Leyton Orient are set to approach West Ham United with view to ground-sharing the Olympic Stadium, according to reports.
The League One club, whose outspoken Chairman Barry Hearn has been against West Ham's move to Stratford since it first emerged that the club were hoping to move across the borough have intimated that they are set to approach United with the offer imminently.
According to a report by David Smith in tonight's Evening Standard, Hearn will "seek talks" with West Ham's co-chairman David Gold and David Sullivan in an attempt to shoe-horn his club into the deal.
Meanwhile a 'source' told the Standard: "It ticks all the boxes. Why not ground-share? It already happens all over the world."
However given Hearn's vocal opposition to West Ham's move, it is unlikely that any offer will be considered by co-owners Sullivan and Gold, who were told recently that they were "overwhelmingly likely" to be awarded tenancy of the stadium by London mayor Boris Johnson.
Despite last week's deadline day for bids being delayed by eight weeks, Johnson saw no reason why that would hurt West Ham's bid for use of the stadium.
"I donít think we should read too much into this," he said. "It is very important to get all the legal nails hit squarely on the head so that the thing does not come unstuck. That is taking a bit of time.
"I still think it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be a footballing solution and that would be a good thing. But It is very important that it should be legally watertight.
"This is a major piece of public infrastructure with big state aid implications that we are trying to transfer to commercial concerns and that is always going to evoke very complicated legal problems."
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by Charles Flores
04:04PM 31st May 2012
''Incredible. Is this not the same man who said the stadium is not fit for football? That West Ham would not be able to fill it? That the Hammers would be trespassing his - like some medieval prince's fiefdom - territory? That WH's move to Stratford would annihilate Orient and their 2,000 supporters?
The man has lost all sense of credibility. I am sure Messrs Gold and Sullivan know how to handle chaps like him...''
by Danny Lawless
02:03PM 30th May 2012
''Barry Hearn is living in dream land. Orient's average attendance is 4,238; how is he gonna pay his share of the upkeep of the stadium? Does he expect us to pay everything and he get a free stadium? Plus we're gonna want the stadium kitted out in West Ham colours and have our logo everywhere, not to mention the Bobby Moore statue. Jog on, Barry.''
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