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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 13 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 6, 2006

Wembley court battle won't stop FA Cup Final

The FA Cup final is still on course to be held at the new Wembley next year despite a looming court battle between the stadium's owners and construction firm Multiplex.

Last month the builders cast doubt on any events being able to be held at the stadium until June next year, but a source close to Multiplex has admitted that the majority of the work is now complete.

Meanwhile, Lord Carter, the chairman of Sport England who acted as a trouble-shooter on the project four years ago, is expected to become involved again to try and help resolve some of the disputes.

Both Multiplex and stadium operators Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL) have also privately distanced themselves from reports that the builders would not allow access to the stadium until any legal action was finished - a process that could take years.

A source close to Multiplex said: 'Legal action does look likely but there is nothing to stop that going on while the stadium is in use.'

The disputes between Multiplex and WNSL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Football Association, are moving closer to court action.

Multiplex signed a fixed-price contract to build Wembley but are claiming changes to the design means they are owed more money, and although no writ has been issued they have sent WNSL several letters of notification about the money they believe they are owed - and their losses on the project stand at more than £200million.

WNSL, meanwhile, have imposed penalty charges for late delivery of the stadium and are withholding money from Multiplex.

An adjudication panel has ruled on a number of issues already, some in favour of Multiplex and some in favour of WNSL, but their findings are likely to be challenged in court by both sides.