London: Leyton Orient fans against Olympic Stadium move
source: guardian-series.co.uk; author: michał
Despite having been rejected by the LLDC, Leyton Orient still hope to share Olympic Stadium with West Ham United. Their supporters apparently think the exact opposite with some 60% against, according to Leyton Orient Fans Trust.
Last week London Legacy Development Company confirmed what was almost obvious, that West Ham are the preferred bidders to take over Olympic Stadium for the next 99 years.
This changes little for Leyton Orient. The club, who also filed a bid in the selection procedure, now hope to reach an agreement directly with West Ham to move in as a secondary tenant. Chairman Barry Hearn thinks the move, combined with club rebranding to London Orient, would enable it to grow, while remaining at Brisbane Road would see the club always in West Ham's shadow.
However, supporters from the Leyton Orient Fans Trust (LOFT) carried out a survey among the fanbase and results show an opposite attitude by fans. Only 20% support the potential move, while 60% are against it and prefer staying at Brisbane Road.
LOFT Vice-chair James Cassidy said: “Considering our current fanbase, turnover and Orient's available funds for investment, you would have to seriously question whether rattling around in a stadium holding 60,000, where West Ham are committing to huge rents and reconfiguration costs that we don't have, would be a good move for both the Os fans’ experience and the club.
“Many Os fans are of the view that West Ham at the Olympic Stadium could well see us pick up some disgruntled Hammers and other Premier League fans who won’t buy into the Olympic theme-park experience and prices.
“With a bit more imaginative marketing of our club to the huge potential spectator base in north east London and beyond, including targeting youngsters and the local community, it is entirely feasible to increase our small crowds at our current stadium to a level where income matches expenditure in the future.”