Hearn questions Olympic stadium legacy

16 February 2012 11:16

The Olympic Stadium's suitability for football after the Games has been questioned by the chairman of one of the clubs bidding to become tenants at the £468million venue.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has waged a long campaign for his club to play matches at the stadium after the Olympics - and launched a legal challenge when West Ham were initially chosen ahead of Tottenham.

Hearn told Sky Sports News: "We're looking at it but, I have to say, after my tour of the stadium, I become more and more convinced that this stadium is not fit for football purposes."

The original decision in favour of West Ham was scrapped last year and now the Olympic Park Legacy Company have re-opened bidding, and Orient are expected to throw their hat in the ring again.

Hearn added: "Obviously we are keeping our options open because we want to see how the land is going to lie and if there's any alternative."

Hearn said the uncertainty over the future of the stadium was a result of a lack of foresight when it was designed.

He added: "No one is actually taking responsibility for admitting they've built a wrong stadium. They didn't listen to advice five years ago when everyone was saying what type of stadium can work. Legacy is absolutely vital. This is tax-payers' money we're talking about - £600million of tax-payers' money. We can't just sweep this under the counter.

"We have to face these problems and be honest. Let's use some common sense but most of all let's be honest with where we're going to go. There are some serious problems on this stadium. Otherwise it's going to be an horrendous white elephant. We've seen it around the world. Let's not let it happen to London.

"Four years ago the OPLC announced they were going to have their tenants lined up in a matter of months - that was four years ago and we're no closer."

Source: PA