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Volume 6 No. 196


Man City plans to "expand capacity at both sides of their Etihad Stadium, giving them the potential to reach a 60,000 capacity after they have added a third tier to their South Stand," according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Plans for the expansion were first revealed in May. Man City will "leapfrog Newcastle and Sunderland to command the third highest capacity in the Premier League, after Manchester United and Arsenal." The club, which "embarked on an exhaustive public consultation" with local residents, intends to "add 6,000 extra seats in the new tier, allowing them to introduce" a $452 season ticket. There also is a "demand for an additional 2,400 seats for supporters seeking an element of upmarket hospitality at games." The team's owners have "always insisted that they will not expand the current capacity until they can be sure that they will fill it." Man City Head of Corporate Responsibility Pete Bradshaw said that the "decision on how radically to expand would be taken by next April" (INDEPENDENT, 7/12). Man City execs said that ticket demand is "soaring," with the ground more than 99% full last season. The stadium expansion would create more $452 season tickets, "although more than one in three will be a new type of ‘premium’ seat." Bradshaw said that the expanded ground, alongside the $181M Etihad campus "being built next door, would create a 'world stage of football'" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/11). SKY SPORTS reported Man City intends to "make a formal planning application before Christmas and, if successful, begin work soon after" (SKY SPORTS, 7/12).

Scottish Premier League football clubs have been "shown the red card" by health inspectors who uncovered rodents, bugs and mold in some shocking stadium kitchens, according to Stuart Macdonald of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Catering company Sporting Solutions was warned that it could face criminal action "if the situation was not rectified." At Hibernian's Easter Road stadium, "mouse droppings were found in the west stand kitchen." The floors in another kitchen needed repair and "food and ice were being stored uncovered in the bar areas, risking contamination by pests." At Dundee United’s Tannadice stadium, mold was found "growing over one of the bars, which had a broken and filthy extraction vent." Cobwebs were found in other units and "there were no hand-washing facilities in the players’ lounge, where pies are served." Microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington said, "These are very worrying breaches. The fact that so many clubs were warned about lack of hand washing is most concerning. That is a basic food safety requirement. It’s a no-brainer." A Sporting Solutions spokesperson said, "All the issues raised in the report have been rectified. We were advised by an inspector that we did not need to keep food safety records because all food is pre-prepared" (DAILY RECORD, 7/14).