Hearn will contest stadium plans

17 February 2011 07:30

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn will meet Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore on Friday to discuss his dissatisfaction over the decision to name West Ham as preferred bidders for the Olympic Stadium.

Hearn held an incendiary press conference on Wednesday outlining his objections to the way the process has been handled and said the future of Orient was in grave danger if the Hammers moved in next door. A meeting between Scudamore and Hearn is unlikely to be the end of the issue, with the latter threatening a full judicial review if he is left unsatisfied.

"The rules of the Premier League, to my untrained legal eyes, are very black and white," said Hearn. "They say they will not grant consent for a club to move grounds if it would adversely effect clubs who have their registered ground in the immediate vicinity."

He added: "I am meeting Richard Scudamore to see how he interprets his own rules because it seems to me legally challengable should they sanction West Ham's move without discussion with us about how we can guarantee the future of this football club."

The politicians are also firmly in Hearn's sights, with Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, and Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and Olympics, joining Cameron and Johnson in being contacted by the Os chairman.

"Leyton Orient has been in existence for 130 years and to have a giant like West Ham on our doorstep offering discounted and free tickets would seriously bring into question the survival of Leyton Orient."

Hearn, whose background as a boxing promoter means he is well used to deal-making and brinkmanship, left it in no doubt how far he is willing to go to have his club's voice heard.

"Judicial review is something no-one wants to get involved in because these things can go on for years and years and years and while they are everything else is frozen," he said.

"It's a threatening tool, a wake-up call to say 'have you gone through the correct process.if you haven't may I advise you very strongly to delay until you have'.

"The advice I'm getting is that I have grounds against the Premier League and I have grounds for judicial review to have the process examined."

Source: PA