Wembley to miss autumn deadline


The owners of the new Wembley stadium have admitted that construction is unlikely to be completed by the previous tentative deadline of September.

Australian construction firm Multiplex had originally intended to finish the £757 million project by August of last year, but this was successively delayed until January 2006 and March 2006, before admitting that the stadium would not be ready for last season's FA Cup final.

There had been fresh fears that the 90,000 capacity stadium would not be ready to host the 2007 FA Cup final, but although Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL) does not believe it will be completed by September, it remains confident that construction will be entirely finished by the end of the year.

"While the stadium is well on the way to being finished and looks magnificent from the outside, Multiplex still has major items to complete," said the company's chief executive, Michael Cunnah.

Among the unfinished construction projects are the stadium's roof, its drainage network, and up to 10,000 seats have not yet been installed.

Mr Cunnah reiterated the holding company's position that "the stadium's delays are Multiplex's responsibility", but he insisted that once completed, the new Wembley would be a "truly world class stadium of the highest standards of quality and safety".

The stadium will be primarily used to host major football and rugby events, but will also play a major role in the London 2012 Olympics and provide a venue for music concerts.

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