sport

Hearn sells share in Orient

Barry Hearn has sold his controlling share in Leyton Orient to an Italian businessman.

The east London club revealed on Monday that the 66-year-old sports promoter's 90% share has been bought by multi-millionaire Francesco Becchetti.

The Dagenham-born Hearn has been involved at Brisbane Road since 1995 while new owner Becchetti is head of renewable energy and waste management firm the Becchetti Energy Group and had previously been linked with takeovers at Reading and Italian outfit Bari.

A statement on the club website reads: \"Hearn's company Matchroom Sport Ltd's 90% shareholding has passed to the Italian businessman who will become the club's new chairman.

\"Hearn, his son Eddie, Steve Dawson and David Dodd have resigned from the board of directors whilst Matthew Porter has stood down as chief executive but will remain as a director of the club.

\"Sports promoter Hearn acquired a controlling stake in Leyton Orient from Tony Wood in March 1995, making him one of the longest serving owners in English football during which time the club's stadium has been rebuilt on three sides and the team has established itself in League One, following promotion in 2006.\"

A press conference with Barry Hearn and Francesco Becchetti will take place on Thursday when Orient will also disclose the other members of the new board.

Orient narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship in May when they lost the League One play-off final at Wembley on penalties to Rotherham - after finishing third in the table.