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If Relegated, West Ham Could Face Leyton Orient in the Championship Next Season

West Ham United is currently in a lamentable era as the club continues to underachieve spectacularly. Since the departure of manager Harry Redknapp in 2001, the Hammers have bounced between the top two divisions of English football on multiple occasions and even when they’ve been in the Premier League, they have seemingly been permanently flirting with relegation.

Ownership changes, financial problems and a general malaise have overtaken the club in the last ten years. But West Ham United remains a classic English institution where the Spirit of 66 was born and thrives even today. With that in mind, the club was given control of London’s Olympic Stadium beginning in 2016, despite a lucrative bid from Tottenham Hotspur — a bigger club but one that would have to relocate geographically to take over the facility.

Upton Park, the current home of West Ham United, however is further from Olympic Stadium than Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road facility. The talk in 2010 and 2011 that Leyton Orient could ground-share or even control the Olympic Stadium was laughed at by most because the club is too small to seriously contemplate control over the facility. Eccentric Orient owner Barry Hearn’s public comments about the stadium seemed to push certain elements of support even further into the Hammers camp. Hearn contended that West Ham was moving into his club’s natural home territory. While many laughed this off, in reality a case can be clearly made in Hearn’s defense.

Still the idea of a smaller club preventing a bigger club from moving to a new ground in an area as saturated with English football as London was deemed laughable by most.

Next season however, a distinct possibility remains that both West Ham United and Leyton Orient could be playing in the same division. At this moment in time the Hammers sit in the Premier League relegation zone while Orient sits in second place in League 1, a position that would see them automatically promoted to the Championship if they maintain it.

Financial issues continue to plague West Ham United. And the Olympic Stadium move in two seasons is being couched as a one-size-fits-all solution to the club’s money problems. But should Leyton Orient and West Ham United actually be on a level plane from a football standpoint when 2016 roles around, questions will be asked and perhaps answered to Barry Hearn’s satisfaction.

For more Hammers coverage, visit the West Ham United team page for news, analysis and opinions.

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  1. john marzan

    January 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    leyton orient = america’s club

  2. Bishopville Red

    January 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Years ago Orient fans chased a friend of mine up on a garage roof on the way home from a match. They were stuck up there until dark.

    I thought that was pretty funny.


  3. scrumper

    January 30, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    West Ham will be facing Brentford next year. Get it right please.

  4. trickybrkn

    January 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I will say that as a West Ham supporter for a VERY long time I am disappointed by their performance on the pitch this season.
    That said. how do you justify “Financial issues continue to plague West Ham United.” They just released their books and are in a great position at the moment. I won’t go into the over paying of former England internationals or the manager, but to put LO in the same breathe as WHUFC is a joke… sure they are closer, they may well be in the same division at some future juncture… But LO draws 5000 fame on a good day… WHU routinely pull in over 30k even when playing in the Championship. Most of LO’s fans are actually West Ham supporters first.

    • Christopher Harris

      January 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      West Ham are £77million in debt.

      • trickybrkn

        January 31, 2014 at 7:57 am

        The majority of that ‘debt’ is owed to the owners. In other words, that isn’t real debt, it is investment in real world terms.

      • trickybrkn

        January 31, 2014 at 8:17 am

        Pretty sure if you looked at the debt levels at each club, West Ham not even make the top ten. And of course a third of the club is still owned by the Icelandic bank… At some point in the very near future, some will buy that share, and the Hammers will be in a very positive position. Check out KUMB’s report.

    • Paul shaw

      January 30, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      “most Orient fans support West Ham first”. You arrogant clown . I’ve watched orient for 35 yes, as did my dad and his dad. I assure you,there is no love for West Ham in fact the opposite. Possibly because of idiots like you who have such an ignorant attitude and a lack of respect for real, dedicated football fans. There’s more to football than the premiership.

      • trickybrkn

        January 31, 2014 at 8:01 am

        Well thanks for the pejorative, and I have no doubt that there are MANY loyal LO supporters… I also know many who attend your home matches are Hammers at heart. That has been my experience, if you disagree so be it, but I am hardly ignorant on the subject.

  5. pete

    January 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    We’ll see you next year. We’ll see you next year. West Ham united . We’ll see next year.

  6. Dean Stell

    January 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve heard Barry Hearn a few times on the Men in Blazers podcast. That’s hardly representative of the man, but I found him to be enjoyable and inspiring to listen to. Seems like a guy with vision.

  7. Patrick

    January 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Am I the only person who thinks Olympic Stadium loos like a generic stadium without real heart to it?

  8. Marc

    January 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Looks like a horrible venue to watch a football match. I am a sucker for old classic stadiums. Sadly they are disappearing.

  9. Flyvanescence

    January 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    You got the idea for this article from my posts about it on here this season, didnt you?

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