London 2012: West Ham's Olympic Stadium bid flawed, says Barry Hearn

By Dan RoanBBC sports news correspondent

West Ham's latest bid to move into the Olympic Stadium is "fundamentally flawed" and should be disqualified, according to Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn.

West Ham have declared their renewed application to move from Upton Park after the collapse of their original attempt following legal challenges from Orient and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Championship club have applied for a 99-year lease of the stadium, but Hearn is now demanding the bid is rejected.

"I am 100% certain that West Ham do not have the permission of the Football League, a fundamental criteria of the bid process," Hearn told the BBC.

"The Olympic Park Legacy Company [OLPC] have no choice but to disqualify them."

In December 2011 the OPLC listed certain minimum requirements for bidders, including "governing body consent".

According to the OPLC's Invitation to Tender document: "Each bidder who proposes content of a sporting nature must have written confirmation from the relevant governing body that the said governing body supports fixtures being played at the stadium..."

Hearn believes West Ham failed to meet that condition by 23 March, the deadline for bids.

"We have now, through our lawyers, written to the OPLC, asking if this clause was satisfied as we believe it wasn't, and we've asked for West Ham's bid to be disqualified," he said.

Hearn says he is now writing to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Sports Minister Hugh Robertson.

Leyton Orient are challenging the legality of the Premier League's decision last year to allow West Ham to move to the stadium on the basis it failed to take into consideration the adverse effect on Orient.

West Ham were relegated last season.

"I think they've relied on a Premier League letter saying that they're quite happy," said Hearn.

"But the Premier League are irrelevant because West Ham are now a Football League club, of which we're also a member. So we're looking for our rights to be upheld.

"I don't think the Football League have made any ruling on this at all. The case would be heard by the league's board. It makes West Ham fundamentally flawed in their bid process."

"The OPLC has constantly moved the goalposts, but this is one where they've really put a noose round their own neck. If they move the goal-posts again, Leyton Orient will once again seek a judicial review against them."

Leyton Orient themselves considered moving to the Olympic Stadium, but withdrew on the basis that it was "not fit for football".

Hearn fears West Ham's move to the 2012 stadium, which will be converted into a 60,000-seater venue after the Games, will jeopardise the League One club's future by tempting fans away from Brisbane Road.

"We're totally opposed to West Ham taking occupancy of the stadium," said Hearn.

"My mind boggles at the problems they will give us. It would be extremely harmful to Leyton Orient.

"All the shenanigans over the stadium have gone on for years and years and years. It's fundamentally flawed in design. They should knock it down and start again."

West Ham face competition from three other bidders.

The club told the BBC: "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."

A spokesperson for the London Legacy Development Corporation said: "We have said all along we would not be commenting on what is a confidential process."

The Football League declined to comment.

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