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Volume 7 No. 149

Facilities

Ian Maxwell believes a successful bid to host the World Cup in '30 could help secure funding.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Scottish FA CEO Ian Maxwell said that bringing the 2030 World Cup to Scotland as part of a joint bid with the other Home Nations "will help secure the substantial funding needed to redevelop Hampden," according to Matthew Lindsay of the HERALD SCOTLAND. The SFA agreed to buy the Glasgow stadium from Scottish League Two side Queen's Park for £5M ($6.5M) when the current lease expires after Euro 2020. The governing body needed the offer of £2.5M ($3.3M) from millionaire Scottish businessman Willie Haughey in the past month to reach an agreement. Maxwell, who hailed the decision as "monumental" for the game in Scotland, admitted the SFA "will now look to attract further public and private investment and redevelop the Mount Florida venue." The organization will hold talks with its counterparts in England, Northern Ireland and Wales this autumn to "discuss the feasibility of bringing the 2030 World Cup to the four countries." Maxwell admitted that stadium sponsorship "was another possibility the SFA will explore." He said, "There are opportunities in that area. It is a challenging market" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 9/11). In Edinburgh, Stephen Halliday reported Maxwell "accepts that significant fresh improvements are needed to protect the status of Hampden," which will be one of the host venues for Euro 2020, as a UEFA five-star stadium in the years ahead. He said, "If we can bring a World Cup here, what does that mean to the country? How can we leverage that? That would be a massive opportunity for us. We had a very brief discussion when we were all over in Russia for a FIFA congress and the plan is to meet up again in the short term and see exactly where those conversations can lead to -- it will be before Christmas. If there was a Home Nations bid, then that would be a strong proposition" (SCOTSMAN, 9/11).

PHOTO FINISH: In London, Ronnie Esplin reported the SFA came "incredibly close" to moving Scotland’s int'l matches to Murrayfield before agreeing to a deal to buy Hampden. Maxwell: "It was incredibly close. I sat in board meetings that got heated. The SRU [Scottish Rugby Union] put forward a very compelling case. I would have really enjoyed going to work with them at Murrayfield. I think we would have done well. But ownership is the game-changer. Owning our own stadium and being able to utilize that 24/7 gives us a real opportunity to make changes." Glasgow Chamber of Commerce welcomed the decision and said that there would be "countless businesses, bars, cafes and restaurants" celebrating around Hampden (LONDON TIMES, 9/12).

BURNING QUESTIONS: The BBC's Tom English wrote Maxwell revealed the SFA is "staying where it is, but he was less clear on the plans for the future." Football fans want a remodeled stadium "and he accepts that." Beyond a "promise to look into things, there was no real vision here, no grand plan." Where is the money coming from for the upgrade? Maxwell "reached for the old chestnuts of potential funding from Glasgow City Council and the Holyrood government." He also stated the benefits of owning the stadium "and reaping revenues from concerts and other events." The SFA "better get in the queue" and it should not "hold its breath when it gets there." Trying to get extra financial backing for a football stadium from local and national government "is a job that renowned promoter Barry Hearn on his A game would struggle to achieve." Concerts? There are "only so many worldwide acts that come to Scotland" and there is competition to get them. Maxwell "is going to have to do better than that." To get the Hampden that everybody wants "is going to cost considerable millions" (BBC, 9/11).

Tottenham has been paying as much as £3.8M per week in wages to construction workers.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Tottenham has been forced to "cough up" more in weekly wages to construction workers at its new stadium than it pays its entire playing squad, according to Duncan Wright of THE SUN. The club had to call in extra labor "to help speed up the delivery" of its delayed £850M ($1.11B) ground. That left a bill of "as much as" £3.8M ($5M) a week in wages to workers -- 50% more than the club pays its players. At the peak of demand in August, there were "as many as 3,800 people clocking in on site across the two shifts" through the day and night. Some electricians are believed to have been collecting £400 ($522) per day helping to rewire the "critical safety systems which were found to be faulty." Industry publication Construction Enquirer calculated that on average, workers on the site were being paid £1,000 ($1,305) per week over a period in August. Mace, the construction company managing the project, disputes the exact figures "on the basis large numbers are sub-contracted under an agreed price" (THE SUN, 9/12).

HARINGEY APPEAL: THE ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL's Ella Jessel reported Tottenham launched an appeal over Haringey Council's "failure to make a decision on its proposals to build homes on a site next to its north London stadium." The football club submitted an application in January, drawn up by F3 Architects, to develop the parcel of land near its White Hart Lane stadium. The proposals include 330 homes alongside retail, office space and a revamped public square. But Haringey "has still not made a decision on the project," dubbed the "Goods Yard," prompting the club to lodge an appeal with the planning inspectorate on grounds of "non-determination" (THE ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL, 9/12).

Bill Kenwright: "The funding is going ahead but we're not there yet, but it's very exciting, the prospect."
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Premier League side Everton Chair Bill Kenwright "insists the funding is going ahead for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock." The club hopes to be in its new home for the start of the '22-23 season. But to get the stadium built, it has to find £220M ($287.1M) to add to the £280M ($365.4M) Liverpool City Council pledged to loan. Kenwright said, "Any new stadium at this moment has to be carefully planned and thought out. Look at the problems poor Daniel (Levy) is having at Tottenham. It's step-by-step" (PA, 9/12).

The fate of Christchurch, New Zealand's NZ$300M ($197M) government fund "will become clearer on Thursday," but some are "appalled" with how it is "likely to be divvied up." The Christchurch City Council proposed putting NZ$220M ($144.4M) of the fund toward a new multi-use stadium, while giving NZ$40M ($26.3M) to transport improvements and NZ$40M to the Avon River Red Zone's "green spine." The council is meeting on Thursday to make a decision. Greening the Red Zone Chair Celia Hogan said that the fund is "unevenly distributed and top-heavy" toward the stadium (STUFF, 9/12).