West Ham United are expected to submit a bid to move into the Olympic Stadium following the 2012 Games. It looks set to become mired in a flurry of legal challenges after Leyton Orient’s chairman, Barry Hearn, lodged an application for a judicial review against the government, the mayor of London and Newham council.
Hearn, who claimed that if West Ham move into the Olympic Stadium it could put Orient out of business within three years, made his aggressive move a day after Tottenham Hotspur also launched an application for a judicial review of Newham’s processes. Orient have accused the council, which made a joint bid for the venue with West Ham, of granting “unlawful state aid” to the club in lending them £40m.
“We are saying quite specifically that the £40m loan is unlawful and illegal,” Hearn said. “We are asking them to withdraw it. It is state aid and they don’t have the authority to make this kind of commercial investment under their charter.”