Barry Hearn: When I sold Leyton Orient I told the new owner to call me for any help. I haven’t heard a thing…

London Evening Standard

Barry Hearn has no regrets about selling Leyton Orient to Francesco Becchetti, the rich Italian businessman.

“Not for a nano second,” he tells me. “Every day since the sale, I wake up with a smile. I hadn’t realised how much of an effect owning a football club was having on my life.”

The 67-year-old sports impresario is well aware, however, that the sale has devastated fans. Eight months ago, in Hearn’s last match as owner, Orient were leading Rotherham 2-0 in the League One Play-off Final only to lose on penalties. After six months of Becchetti’s stewardship, Orient are only above the League One drop zone on goal difference and the club are on their fourth manager of the season.

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Transfer Fees – The Forgotten Mystery It’s time for Fifa to come clean on transfer fees

Everyone agrees, even Sepp Blatter President of FIFA that sports should be clean and like Caesar’s wife above suspicion. Many of us may not believe that Blatter means what he says as the utter mess his organisation has made of the probes into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids show. Blatter’s supporters argue what can the poor man do? He appoints a US attorney, evidence is taken under conditions of secrecy and the full report cannot be published because FIFA may face legal actions from the persons named in the report.

That argument has some merit in the sense FIFA is a private organisation not a state body with none of the judicial power a state has. The state can compel those within its jurisdiction to give evidence, cases are heard in open court and when it comes to pronouncing judgement judges are like stage artistes savouring their moment in the sun.

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