Greek side AEK's plan to build a new €65M ($90M) stadium "has obtained the backing" of Greece's Minister of Environment, Energy & Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis, who signed a project proposal intended for the Greek parliament, according to Jaroslaw Adamowski of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The document "needs a total of four ministerial signatures to be submitted," and the country's interior minister, culture minister and finance minister "have already promised to ink the proposal." Once the bill is approved by the Greek parliament, the club "will be able to launch the investment with the use of state and European Union funds." The project is designed to be completed by '15. The Agia Sophia stadium will be developed in the Nea Filadelfeia area of the Greek capital. The new facility "is to have a designed capacity of between 32,000 and 34,000 seats" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 3/31).
Man City announced that the first phase of work to expand the Etihad Stadium "is to begin imminently," according to Andy Hampson of the London INDEPENDENT. Man City was granted planning permission in February to increase the size of arena from its current 47,670 capacity to 62,170. Man City confirmed the appointment of int'l engineering company Laing O'Rourke as construction partners and ground engineering work on the South Stand site "will begin immediately." The expanded South Stand will take capacity to 54,000 by the '15-16 season, something which will be marked by the introduction of a new £299 ($498) season ticket (INDEPENDENT, 3/31). In Manchester, Simon Coyle noted the expansion project "will create 160 jobs, as well as up to 110 match day jobs in the first phase alone." The increased capacity will make the Etihad Stadium the second largest in the Premier League, behind only ManU's Old Trafford. Man City CCO Tom Glic said, "Expanding the stadium allows us to grow that offering as we constantly work towards excellence for every supporter that visits the Etihad Stadium” (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 3/31).