Orient owner has a pop at West Ham fans on Twitter

Olympic Stadium

Outspoken Barry Hearn has re-ignited the debate with West Ham over the Olympic Stadium, a ground he still wants to share with the Premier League club.

Barry Hearn will not let it go. 

Ever since West Ham made public their desire to move into the Olympic Stadium, the Leyton Orient owner has been fighting tooth and nail to try to prevent it.

His argument is that West Ham will be encroaching on Orient's patch of East London, and make attracting and keeping matchgoing fans tougher for the next generation and beyond.

This week he visited Parliament, telling an Olympic and Paralympic legacy committee: "This is not a done deal. West Ham have an agreement but I have a judicial review outstanding and litigation with the Premier League that West Ham even moving would be a breach of Premier League rules.

"We have ended up in situation where we have gifted £500million of tax-payers' money to a Premier League club that has a turnover of more than £100million. It's a wonderful gift but if I was an Arsenal fan I would wonder why we bothered paying to build a new stadium.

"This is state sponsorship beyond my wildest dreams. In effect it's rent free as they have ability to develop Upton Park."

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady hit back: "West Ham is not getting a free stadium. The stadium was built for the Olympics and what are we going to do with it? Across the world stadiums that are not used, die.

"Without anchor tenants the cost would be huge to the tax payer."

And last night Hearn was back making his views heard. His ultimate goal is to get Leyton Orient a groundshare with the Hammers.

His frustration at Hammers fans, that they are unwilling to share his viewpoint, and their future stadium is clearly boiling over, as he fights to do what he believes is best for his club.

West Ham are due to move into the stadium in 2016, but only once a £70 million debt has been paid off, as revealed yesterday.

Hearn should perhaps be admired for standing up for his club and fighting for what he feels is right, but for West Ham and their fans he is becoming a constant irritation.

Whether he will get his way in the end, is unclear and at this stage not on the cards, but you feel the 65-year-old will not be giving up the fight any time soon.

How will this saga end?

image: © ascarr

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