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By ESPN Staff
Sep 29, 2011

Hearn 'bung' claims rejected

Boris Johnson's office have defended an offer of £17 million to help Tottenham build a new stadium after it was branded "a bung'' by Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn.

The London mayor wants Spurs to drop their legal action over the award of the Olympic Stadium to West Ham and is offering £17 million in infrastructure improvements to the club to develop a new ground next to White Hart Lane.

But Hearn, whose club have joined Spurs in the application for a judicial review of the Olympic Stadium decision, blasted the move.

Hearn told talkSPORT: "Boris has made his move to try and placate Tottenham and if I'm being cynical, it looks like a bung just to get him out of a court case. I come from the real world and I can recognise a bung when I see it.''

The £17 million offer is from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Haringey Council and the London mayor's office rejected the suggestion that it was inappropriate.

They have also denied a report that Tottenham have a deadline until Friday to accept the offer, saying talks with the club are still continuing.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: "To suggest that the proposed offer from the GLA and Haringey Council towards Tottenham Hotspur is an inappropriate use of funds is entirely inaccurate.

"The discussions that took place yesterday outlined a comprehensive plan for the regeneration of the area that is in the interests of not just the club, but the residents and businesses of Tottenham.''

Hearn said Orient will push ahead with action in the High Court in mid-October against Newham Borough Council and the Olympic Park Legacy Committee and are claiming that the Hammers are being given a "state subsidy'' in taking over the Olympic Stadium.

He added: "Frankly, West Ham are getting a great deal. David Gold said, and I quote, 'We know the stadium's not perfect but this is a £600million stadium and we're getting it for £30 million, so it's too good a deal to turn down'.

"Well, good luck to him, but if that's not state aid then I don't know what is. What West Ham do is up to them and what Tottenham do is up to them.

"But I don't think there's any doubt that if West Ham do take off they'll put us out of business.

"The one little outfit that's being completely overlooked is little Leyton Orient Football Club, and the community work they do, which is supposed to be so important in the world in which we live. We seem to be the forgotten tribe of the East End.

"The Premier League has got rules they've not understood. They're hoping we'll go away quietly, but anyone who knows me knows that 'quiet' is not a word that features in my vocabulary.''

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