Orient Propose Switch to Eton Manor to Drop OS Legal Action

March 7, 2011

According to the chairman of English League One soccer side Leyton Orient, Barry Hearn, the club would be prepared to drop their threatened legal action over West Ham United’s proposed move to the Olympic Stadium if they were allowed to move to Eton Manor after London 2012.

The London club, situated closest to the Olympic Park venue, fear West Ham’s move to Stratford could cost them up to US$2.4m a year and have written to the Premier League to complain about it, threatening legal action.

Hearn has since aired the prospect of a compromise which would see Orient leave Brisbane Road and share the Olympic Park with their Premier League neighbours.

In an interview with Waltham Forest Guardian, Hearn stated: “Ideally I’d like to carry on where we are and not have any football team move into the Olympic Stadium but of course this isn’t an ideal world.

“There’s a question of can we get round the table and is there a settlement for Leyton Orient which will guarantee its survival?

“A pile of money won’t solve anything.”

Hearn wants the authorities to help Orient build a new 15,000-seater stadium at nearby Eton Manor on the Olympic Park.

Eton Manor is currently being redeveloped and is due to host three temporary training swimming pools for aquatics during the Olympics and then wheelchair tennis during the Paralympics.

It had been intended that after the Games Eton Manor will be transformed into a unique mix of sporting facilities for local and regional communities, including a tennis centre with four indoor and six outdoor courts, a hockey centre with two competition pitches and five-a-side soccer pitches.

The facilities will be able to accommodate elite hockey events for up to 15,000 spectators.

“To compete we would have to move out of the area completely or be housed in the Olympic Park itself,” said Hearn.

“That way we could have the same facilities and transport links that West Ham would have and then there would be a level playing field for us to compete on.

“There are options such as moving into the hockey stadium or building a new venue at Eton Manor playing fields.

“These are real suggestions we are looking at to resolve this issue.”