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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 18:06 GMT
Emergency Wembley hearing ordered
Laying turf at Wembley stadium
Wembley Stadium is set to host the FA Cup Final in May
A judge has ordered an emergency hearing into a row over car parks at Wembley stadium, to help ensure the venue hosts the FA Cup final in May.

Wembley London Ltd told Mr Justice Kitchin that it was "essential to the running of the event that our differences are resolved".

The firm, which owns the land around the stadium, is claiming 500,000 in backdated service charges.

The High Court hearing is now due to be heard in late March or early April.

More charges due

Without the judge's intervention the case, which could last up to five days, would not have been scheduled for the High Court before January 2008 due to workloads.

Representing Wembley London Ltd Michael Driscoll said more service charges were due at the end of March.

He added that the lease it granted to the stadium - which allows it to operate the car parks and merchandising booths as well as access rights - could be forfeited if the payments were not made.

Wembley National Stadium Ltd claims it is not liable for the charges under the lease for which it paid 2,500,000 in 1999.

The firm said the charges were never "properly incurred" under the terms of the lease.

Katharine Holland, representing the stadium, said the charges had not been paid since the closure of the old Wembley Stadium because no services were supplied.

"Once the new stadium is open it will be a different story," she said.

She said it was of "great public concern" that Wembley London was considering forfeiting the lease before the dispute had been resolved.

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