Orient snub as West Ham move approved

PREMIER LEAGUE chiefs have dismissed Leyton Orient’s protests at the decision to allow West Ham to move into the Olympic Stadium, after the Hammers’ relocation was rubber-stamped by government.

Ministers and the Mayor of London yesterday confirmed their formal endorsement of the choice of West Ham, rather than Tottenham, as anchor tenants of the venue after the London 2012 Games.

Orient chairman Barry Hearn is threatening legal action if the plan progresses, arguing that the League One could be put out of business and have not been properly consulted by the Premier League.

But in a statement the league said there had been dialogue with Hearn in which he had welcomed the prospect of Spurs moving into the stadium instead, wishing the north Londoners “all success” with their rival bid.

“It is regrettable that Mr Hearn is now claiming that Leyton Orient had no input into the board’s decision making process when their views, as expressed in writing at the time by Mr Hearn, were given due consideration,” read the statement.

“Clearly the position currently being articulated by Mr Hearn in the media is at odds with his original submission. There is absolutely no question of the board’s decision being reviewed.”

Hearn criticised the approval of West Ham’s bid, calling it “staggering”. “It’s savage news, very disappointing,” he said. “No one, in or outside government, has asked one single question about how this will affect Leyton Orient. The news that they’ve rubber-stamped it without asking anything is staggering to me.”