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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Arsenal rule out Wembley move
Tottenham's Steven Carr battles with Freddie Ljungberg of Arsenal
Spurs and Arsenal had been linked with a Wembley ground share
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out the chance of the Gunners sharing the new Wembley national stadium.

The Football Association had said it was open to the idea of Tottenham or Arsenal - or even both - using Wembley for their home matches.

But, despite both north London clubs facing uncertainty over the futures of their grounds, Wenger insists Arsenal would remain at Highbury should their Ashburton grove development fall flat.

"There has always been talk about that, but the only priority is to go to Ashburton Grove and get the finance right, that would be the ideal situation," Wenger said.

"If that doesn't happen we will have to find another solution and I think at the moment the only one is to go back to Highbury.

"Wembley would be out of the question."

Arsenal played their Champions League home games at the old Wembley five years ago, but with little success.

It has been reported that Arsenal vice chairman David Dein - also vice chairman of the Football Association - is keen on a permanent move to Wembley, but he faces opposition from other members of the club's board.

Under a deal which gave the national stadium 120m of lottery funding, Wembley cannot have an "active tenant".

People can do the maths and maybe see that there's a deal to be cut somewhere
Mark Palios

But FA chief executive Mark Palios has indicated that he may consider any proposal to share the ground with a club when it opens in 2006.

"I can't comment on Arsenal or Tottenham," he said last month.

"But, from my perspective, one of the things I have under review is the Wembley project and the ways in which we could enhance it.

"It's still predicated upon the fact that it will be an earner for the FA and produce income. It's commonsense that if you've got an asset, then you want to use it."

Palios said that a ground share arrangement might be for the best.

"It may actually be good for the game as I believe there are a tremendous number of good assets around here that are not utilised fully so, as an industry, that is unhealthy.

"There's an element of the Lottery money which says that you can't have an active tenant but people can do the maths and maybe see that there's a deal to be cut somewhere."




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