Orient eye Olympic ground-share
West Ham United,
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn would rather share the Olympic Stadium with West Ham than F1 after this summer's London Games.
Hearn has opposed the Hammers' attempts to move into Orient's 'patch' in Stratford as he believes it would lead to the demise of the League One club. But he is now ready to accept a compromise - suggesting that Orient could be joint-tenants with the Hammers - rather than as had been suggested as part of an ambitious bid by Formula One. Fulham were the last top-flight club to ground-share when they moved into QPR's Loftus Road while Craven Cottage was redeveloped between 2002 and 2004. Hearn believes, though, that AC Milan and Inter Milan at the San Siro, and Roma and Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, provide examples of it working successfully. "We have submitted plans for us to take occupancy of the Olympic Stadium and work our fixtures around any other tenants, and I would share the stadium with West Ham in a heartbeat," Hearn told ESPN. "My Martin Luther King moment is that I, too, have a dream, and rather than West Ham put us out of business it is to let us have the Olympic Stadium. The real legacy, the real intention of a legacy is to allow the east end clubs to prosper. "If AC Milan and Inter Milan can share the San Siro, I cannot see the problem of ground sharing in this country. Our plan is to have a football-friendly, vibrant stadium. The legacy for this stadium is better suited to that idea, surely? "If they give it to West Ham alone, it would put us out of business. If we can have the stadium, it can help us invest in the team and aim to become a Championship side Hearn dismissed the idea of a Grand Prix being staged at the site, adding: "I am sure [F1 chief executive] Bernie [Ecclestone] has a clever scheme but F1 cars whizzing around and inside the stadium, I don't think so. Cars going through the Olympic Park, again I doubt it."