Orient want to move into Olympic Stadium
LEAGUE One Leyton Orient have applied for permission to move into the brand-new Olympic Stadium after next year’s Games and demanded that West Ham be ruled out of the running under Football League rules.
The O’s chairman Barry Hearn is interested in moving his club into the stadium in Stratford after the Olympic Park Legacy Company reopened the tender process to rent the stadium.
A deal with West Ham and Newham Council collapsed amid legal challenges last week, with the Government announcing that the stadium would remain in public ownership and be leased out.
Hearn said: “We are asking for a 25,000-seat stadium and we want to see if we can get around the athletics track. It has to stay, we know that. But can we build up, if not down, and see if it’s possible to get it covered while we play?
“If it isn’t possible, it isn’t - and we wouldn’t move in with a running track between the pitch and the crowd.
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“We have submitted an application for permission to move to the Football League, and that permission is something that West Ham don’t yet have.
“It was the Premier League who gave them the green light to move in their original plan, but they are no longer members of the Premier League.
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“The rules are that the Football League would not sanction a club moving closer to another club if it affects the business of that other club, and there’s no doubt that West Ham moving there would affect us.
“West Ham can’t just assume that they will be in the Premier League by then. How, therefore, can the Olympic Park Legacy Company, whose job it is to decide who takes over the stadium, allow West Ham to remain in the bidding process? We want them thrown out because they don’t have permission from the relevant authority - the Football League.”