Top of the South Stand: London Calling as Hearn gets up to his old tricks again

12:28 08 October 2012

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn.


Our Leyton Orient blogger discusses his club’s proposed name change.

About our blogger

Name: Tom Taylor

Season ticket holder

Favourite player: Romain Vincelot

Most memorable game: Arsenal (Home) FA Cup 5th round 2010/11

Predicted finish: 12th

It was revealed on Friday that Leyton Orient’s owner Barry Hearn would consider a name change for the club if it managed to secure a lease to the magnificent Olympic Stadium in his latest attempt to make sure Orient’s name is not forgotten in the ongoing saga.

The process which has lasted for several years prior to the games taking place in Stratford this summer, is set to end later this month as a supposed final decision on the future of the stadium is made.

Hearn has always made sure of his club’s interest in any move to the Olympic area. After his initial plans for the Hockey Arena were quickly muted, he followed that up with the even more ambitious idea of moving into the 60,000 seater centrepiece.

Ever since, the Orient chairman has been embroiled in a farcical media war with the owners of West Ham United, as both teams battle to win the right to play in Stratford.

During this period Hearn has pulled every note out of his media playbook to keep everyone aware of the plight of his club. With dwindling attendances, a lack of local interest and a substantial financial deficit every year, a potential move by West Ham nearer to Orient could prove disastrous for the League 1 side.

But Hearn is not daft. Like any decent businessman he doesn’t like to make a loss, and can see an opportunity when it arises. With him looking to sell the club for the past few years without much luck, “Bazza” has been looking to reclaim some of the lost millions spent on woeful Orient teams of the past; and the prospect of a brand new stadium for no building cost is one too good to turn down.

The big problem in Hearn’s plan are the claret and blue neighbours. With the owners at Upton Park looking to expand in an attempt to begin to wipe away at some of their reported 90 million pound debt, they are seen as the preferred and more realistic future tenants of the Olympic Stadium. The Irons fanbase of 30,000 supporters every home game would also be seen as far more compatible with the stadium rather than Orient’s 3,000.

But all hope is not lost if the Hammers get the stadium. The O’s will be due a large compensation package by either West Ham or the Premier and Football League, as a move to the Olympic Stadium would contravene the rules of the Leagues which state a club cannot move to within another club’s catchment area. The compensation could provide the reds, the chance to fund a move away from Brisbane Road which according to Hearn is the only practical option for a successful future for Leyton Orient.

Regardless of what happens later on this month there is one thing you can be sure of. Barry Hearn will keep fighting for his future by using any means possible to make sure his club and business stay alive.

Related articles


Latest Sport Stories

58 minutes ago
Arsenal fans show their colours and support in the stands. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti suggests the sanctity of match-going is being replaced by passionate fan communities online.

Yesterday, 20:00
Mauricio Pochettino (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Harry Kane fired Tottenham into the knockout stages of the Europa League as they finally overcame stubborn Group J minnows Qarabag 1-0 in Baku.

Yesterday, 19:50
Maksim Medvedev of Qarabag challenged by Christian Eriksen  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Spurs beat Qarabag 1-0 to qualify for the Europa League last 16 in Azerbaijan, here’s how we rated the players.

Yesterday, 18:36
Surrey winners of the Division 2 LV County Championship  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

English cricket will break with tradition in 2016 after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a new rule which will see the forsaking of the toss.

Yesterday, 12:24
Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou. Pic: Tony Gay

Jerome Martelli struck the decisive goal as Haringey Borough earned a crucial home win in Saturday’s basement battle against Heybridge and climbed out of the relegation zone in Ryman League Division One North.

Yesterday, 12:05
Andreas Sotiri scored a try in his first game for Haringey Rhinos. Pic: Tony Gay

Andreas Sotiri scored a try on his debut for Haringey Rhinos’ Under-14s as a side featuring a number of young players put in an encouraging performance, despite their defeat to Chingford.

Yesterday, 11:56
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Baku, Azerbaijan. The Spurs squad are halfway through a 5,000-mile round trip and face FK Qarabag this evening just 64 hours prior to another London derby - Chelsea are the visitors for a midday kick-off on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

Wed, 16:02
Chris Rainsford (left) in action on the road for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers were crowned national champions on Sunday as the prestigious UK 10k road race championships were held as part of the 30th anniversary of the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder