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SBD Global/March 21, 2013/Facilities

Leyton Chair To 'Walk Away' From Olympic Stadium If Review Sides With West Ham

Leyton Orient Chair Barry Hearn said he will drop his legal fight for London's Olympic Stadium.
League One Leyton Orient Chair Barry Hearn "has promised to drop his legal fight" with EPL West Ham United and find a new home for his club "if he fails to win a judicial review in to the handling of the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium," according to the London TELEGRAPH. Hearn "asked for a judicial review" in to the London Legacy Development Corp. decision to name West Ham as its preferred tenant for the stadium. Hearn thinks West Ham has broken the rules in its bid because it has "not given his club the chance to discuss the possibility of a groundshare between the two neighbours." Hearn said, "If I lose the judicial review, I have got to walk (away)" (TELEGRAPH, 3/20). The PA's Paul Hirst reported Hearn is convinced that "he will win the judicial review, but he is not confident of being given the chance to share the stadium with West Ham if the LLDC have to start the bidding process for a third time." For that reason, the 64-year-old businessman "has already started looking at other sites for a new ground for his League One club." Hearn said, "If I stay (at Brisbane Road), I get crushed. And I am not prepared to see a club that is 130 years old, that reaches more kids than another other in the country through the community schemes, get crushed" (PA, 3/20).

ON THE MOVE: In London, Andy Hodgson reported "West Ham's imminent switch to the Olympic Stadium could be the first in a series of ground-hopping moves for London’s top clubs." Eight of the capital’s 15 teams "have their sights on finding a new home," while another three "are considering redeveloping their stadiums" (EVENING STANDARD, 3/20).
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