Hearn: “I don’t dislike those West Ham mongrels”



What you see is not always what you get and that’s more true of Barry Hearn than most.

And as the Hammers old adversary hands over the reins of Leyton Orient to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti, ClaretandHugh’s associate editor Sean Whetstone spoke with Hearn

He talks of the missed opportunities between himself and the Hammers  and declared: “Tell those West Ham mongrels I don’t dislike them.”

Barry Hearn believes this is the perfect moment to hand the O’s over to Italian business Francisco Becchetti and is convinced the new  90% shareholder will take the club forward .

And he said: “It will like going from Primark to Harrods!”

Hearn retains the ownership of Brisbane Road stadium on which he has a 999 year peppercorn lease from Waltham Forest Council.

He has leased the stadium to Leyton Orient for 20 years with an option for another 20.

And the new owner has made it clear his immediate priority is promotion to the Championship and remaining at Brisbane Road in the short term.

However, Hearn – who takes the honorary title of life president – hasn’t fully discounted a future ground share at the Olympic Stadium.

But he made it clear there’s no rush revealing though that the only hurdle would be agreeing the financial terms with the new stadium operator.

He said: “I’m confident Francesco would make the decision if or when the time was right.

“The stadium operator will be announced in the next few months by the LLDC with AEG the favourite to be awarded the contract.”

Turning to the stormy relationship he has experienced with the Irons over recent years he declared: “I really hope  Becchetti  can meet with Sullivan and Gold to see how the two close neighbours could work together for mutual benefit. I think there was been a lot of missed opportunities during my reign”

When I asked Hearn whether there was even the remotest chance of investing in the Irons he said: “No disrespect to West Ham but I am Leyton Orient fan and I will never buy into another football club for the rest of my life”

His last words were “Tell those West Ham mongrels I don’t dislike them!”

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I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball,

I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh.

Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons!

Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter


  • Hammers54 says:

    Mr Hearn again seems to ignore the facts. He is either unaware or chooses to ignore this from the Memorandum of Information for wannabe stadium operators.
    “2.2. WHUFC
    E20 LLP has already entered into a concession agreement with WHUFC (the “Concession Agreement”), which followed the conclusion of a formal procurement process. The Concession Agreement gives WHUFC the priority use of the Stadium during the football season, to enable the club to fulfil its fixture commitments and to ensure that the Stadium will operate as WHUFC’s home stadium. The operator will be expected to work with WHUFC and E20 LLP to ensure that the Stadium has the ‘look and feel’ of the club’s home ground throughout the season. The Concession Agreement, and E20 LLP’s relationship with WHUFC, is critical to the delivery of a vibrant, high quality and sustainable Stadium.”

    This gives very little room for any would be operator to include another football club in the stadium. West Ham have priority access for fixtures, I understand this is a PL and FL requirement, so how they could square that circle I don’t know. Any such would likely have to be cleared by the E20 LLP which is formed in part by Newham Council.. They are hardly going to welcome Orient using the stadium.

  • New606 says:

    Well tell that dick we don’t like him, wish I’d never put money in the bucket to help save orient in the eighties.

  • essexirons says:

    What a coincidence….. just weeks after agreeing a ‘settlement/agreement’ with WHU this slimey little @##₩¥ sells the club and runs…!!!!!!
    Just proves what we all knew about him & the OS all along..

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