Hearn wants West Ham bid thrown out

PA Sport
Barry Hearn
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Barry Hearn

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has asked for West Ham's bid to move into the Olympic Stadium to be disqualified and branded it "fundamentally flawed".

West Ham have applied for a 99-year lease of the stadium in Stratford, which will be converted into a 60,000-seat arena following the Games, after the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) reopened the bidding process.

Hearn claims West Ham failed to secure the permission of the Football League before a deadline of March 23 this year, and told BBC Sport: "The argument we have now is that we feel there is a very good case that West Ham may not have satisfied the bid process rules. Under the bid process they have to have permission of the Football League in writing attached to their bid to satisfy the bid criteria."

He added: "We have now, through our lawyers, written to the OPLC, asking whether this clause was satisfied because we believe it wasn't, and we've asked for West Ham's bid to be disqualified.

"I think West Ham have missed their deadline. I think they've relied on a Premier League letter saying that they were quite happy, but the Premier League are irrelevant to this case because West Ham are a Football League club and it comes under the rules of the Football League, an organisation of which Leyton Orient are a member too."

In response, West Ham issued a statement which said: "West Ham United has submitted a bid to play matches at the Olympic Stadium from 2014. The rules of the competition impose duties of confidentiality which all bidders must abide by and therefore we make no further comment."

The Football League declined to comment when contacted by Press Association Sport.

Asked if the Football League had given any indication as to whether they would approve a request from West Ham, Hearn added: "There is no question the case would be heard by the Football League board to decide whether they would sanction a request.

"They may sanction it, they may not, but at this moment in time they haven't and that's the key word which makes them, we believe West Ham, fundamentally flawed in their bid process for the Olympic stadium."

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