More delays for Wembley Stadium

The completion of the new Wembley Stadium looks likely to be delayed even further, the construction firm working on the project has announced.

Australian firm Multiplex said that it did not expect that construction work on the £757 million stadium would be finished until after September.

In a statement, Multiplex claimed that "certain works" that were the responsibility of Wembley National Stadium LTD had not yet been carried out. The statement said: "In order to achieve practical completion of Wembley Stadium certain works, which are the responsibility of WNSL, rather than Multiplex must first be completed; WNSL has not begun some of these works."

The statement added: "Furthermore, once practical completion has been achieved, it is the responsibility of WNSL to carry out a series of critical works and activities in order to make the stadium operational for events.

"The timing and hosting of the first event is therefore entirely a matter for WNSL."

However, a statement released by Wembley Stadium's chief executive Michael Cunnah, said: "Wembley Stadium firmly rejects Multiplex's statement and refutes any claims that they make against us. The delays experienced on the stadium have and continue to be under the complete control and responsibility of the Multiplex. Although the stadium appears to be nearly finished, Multiplex has an important and substantial amount of work to complete, including the installation, testing and commissioning of mechanical and electrical systems.

"Wembley Stadium took the sensible decision in March to rule out all events at the stadium in 2006 as we were sceptical of Multiplex ability to meet the various deadlines they have given us. The situation remains the same - Multiplex need to make more progress in delivering the stadium before we can name an opening date."

The new stadium had been due to host its first event - the 2006 FA Cup final - in May, but the Football Association announced in March that no events would be held at the venue this year because of the delays.

Once building work has been completed, WNSL has said that it will need two months to hold 'test events' at the stadium for safety reasons before a major event can be held there.


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