Barry Hearn threatens PM David Cameron with legal battle

17 February 2011 01:32

Barry Hearn has warned Prime Minister David Cameron not to rubber-stamp West Ham's proposed takeover of the Olympic Stadium or he will be risking a protracted legal battle.

The Leyton Orient chairman is also threatening proceedings against the FA Premier League if they, too, sanction the move - a course of action which he believes is against Premier League rules. He will meet its chief executive Richard Scudamore tomorrow to discuss his club's position.

Hearn said: 'I do not blame West Ham. They are only looking after their own interests. The culprits here are the Government and the Premier League. I am asking the Government not to rubber-stamp the decision before they undergo due process in taking into account the effects on the incumbent resident football club.

Eyes on the prize: Orient chairman Hearn (centre) says the club will challenge the Olympic Park Legacy Committee's decision

'To have a giant of West Ham's stature on our doorstep offering discounted and free tickets would seriously bring into question the survival of Leyton Orient. Let's be frank, the floating fan at a school in this area is going to be much more impressed by Premier League football than by League One.

Hearn revealed that Orient had discussions about moving on to the Olympic site four years ago but could not agree to architectural plans which would give no possibility for covering the athletics track with retractable seating for football matches.

In addition to Cameron, he has also written to London Mayor Boris Johnson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson and Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Future vision: West Ham were recommended as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium

He added: 'I expect replies from all four gentlemen. This is a very difficult time for Leyton Orient Football Club. We have been in existence for 130 years and we have been at this ground since 1937. By any stretch of the imagination we are the incumbent local club.

'I don't like being bullied by the big boys. The only way to front upa bully is to push him on the back foot. I find it absolutely staggering the lack of respect for Leyton Orient.

'I'm not looking to be controversial or antagonistic. My efforts are solely aimed at the sustainablity of this club. No-one wants a judicial review but football is a focus point of communities in this country and has a voice which deserves to be heard.

'Rules are not made just to read and ignore. Rules are made to govern. The governance of the Premier League and the control they have of being able to say yes or no makes them financially liable for any breach of those rules themselves.'

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 Explore more:People: Jeremy Hunt, Hugh Robertson, Barry Hearn, Boris Johnson, David Cameron Places: London, Olympic Stadium

Source: Daily_Mail