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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Eriksson 'backing' Birmingham stadium
Birmingham Stadium
Birmingham's proposal would see 100m of investment
The chairman of a Birmingham football club has claimed that the city's bid to become the home of the new national stadium is being backed by England manager Sven Goran Eriksson.

Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis said that Eriksson told him he would like to see the new stadium in Birmingham.

Ellis said 47 of England's 92 league club chairmen have also written to him backing Birmingham.

The Football Association (FA) refused to comment on Ellis' claims when contacted by BBC News Online.

Major investment

Ellis told the BBC's Midlands Today programme: "Sven Goran Eriksson likes the idea of it being in Birmingham mainly because our new national training centre is on the A38 just below Burton upon Trent, 25 minutes away."

The FA held meetings with the Birmingham bid team last week and has asked for more details on their business plan.

The Birmingham proposal would bring more than 4,000 jobs and 100m of investment to the area.

If agreed, the stadium would be built on greenbelt land.

Coventry and Wembley are also hoping to be chosen as the stadium site.

A recent poster campaign attempted to win over doubters in the government and the footballing world that a new Wembley could be built in Coventry rather than London or Birmingham.

The posters emphasised that building a stadium on the site of Coventry's planned new ground could begin immediately while the other two bids face delays.

A decision is expected from the FA sometime in the next four weeks.

See also:

25 Jun 01 | UK Politics
'Wembley decision in eight weeks'
10 May 01 | UK Politics
Straw accused of Wembley 'cronyism'
01 May 01 | UK Politics
Uproar over Wembley 'fiasco'
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