BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: Search for a New Wembley  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 15:32 GMT
Wembley still in limbo
An illustration of the new Wembley stadium design
A huge arch is part of the new Wembley design
The Football Association has confirmed Wembley as its preferred site for England's national stadium - but the government insists a final decision on the project has yet to be made.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell told the Commons on Wednesday that Birmingham remained an alternative if the plans fell through.


There is a very great deal of work to be done before there can be a final decision on the national stadium
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell

She added that it remained possible that no national stadium would be developed at all.

Government troubleshooter Patrick Carter, whose report on the project was released on Wednesday, was also cautious.

"I believe we now have the prospect, but not yet the certainty of delivering a national stadium at Wembley," he said.

The project, which could cost as much as 700m, has been dogged by financial and political problems.

However, FA chief executive Adam Crozier said he was confident plans for a new national stadium at Wembley would be finalised by the end of April 2002.

He said the new 90-000 seater Wembley will be able to stage athletics, with the use of a specially-fitted platform if required, as well as football.

Crozier said the FA, Sport England and the government have agreed the following:

  • England should have a national stadium.

  • They believe it can be financed in a "commercially successful" way.

  • They have offers in principle from a number of parties that lead them to believe this can be achieved.

  • Preferred option is Wembley, with an amended design.

  • A final decision will be reached by the end of April 2002.

    Crozier added that plans to include a hotel and offices on the site have been scrapped.

    The FA's decision to plough ahead with the Wembley project has angered supporters of the rival Birmingham and Coventry bids.


  • We are building a football stadium that is one of the finest, if not the finest, in the world
    FA chief Adam Crozier

    Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis, a member of the FA and leading supporter of the Birmingham bid, labelled the move "disgraceful."

    "I believe Wembley is the next Millennium Dome. There will be a lot of tears if they continue with this project," he said.

    But England team coach Sven-Goran Eriksson welcomed the proposals.

    "I am very excited about seeing an England team playing once again at the home of football," he said.

    Meanwhile, shadow culture secretary Tim Yeo criticised the "dithering and blundering of successive ministers."

    He said Britain's reputation in international sporting circles had never been lower.

    Coventry's bid team were "extremely disappointed" to be ruled out.

    Ann Lucas of Coventry City Council said: "We feel certain the authorities will face severe hurdles before the realisation of a national stadium at Wembley."

     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    FA Chief Executive Adam Crozier
    "Wembley is the preferred option"
    Wembley National Stadium chairman Sir Rodney Walker
    "I'm delighted they've concluded that Wembley is the right place"
    Head of Sport England Trevor Brooking
    "We now have to lock people in to definite decisions"

    Talking PointFORUM
    Quiz the BBC's Nigel Adderley on the Wembley sagaStadium fiasco
    BBC Sport's Nigel Adderley on the Wembley debate

    Latest news

    Background

    Photo gallery

    Have your say

    The old Wembley

    Internet link
    Internet links:


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more Search for a New Wembley stories are at the foot of the page.


    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more Search for a New Wembley stories

    © BBC ^^ Back to top

    Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
    Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
    Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
    Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales