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How Wembley Nearly Felled the FA

The renovation of Wembley Stadium has to go down as one of the worst stadium construction disasters in the history of sport. In fact, the Guardian tells how the English Football Association almost fell apart as a result of the botched project. Wembley National Stadium Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of English soccer's governing body that was put in charge of managing the rebuilding of the storied English stadium. Auditor Deloitte & Touche refused to sign off on the stadium company's project because it doesn't think Wembley's returns will be enough to cover the enormous cost of its renovation. That's very bad, by the way, because the FA would have to pay off the company's failed creditors with a $47 million "financial support package." The FA is already some $523 million in debt, to which any addition might have sunk the association. Thankfully, stadium constructor Multiplex, which is already owed some $270 million from WNSL, agreed a deal to help bail the FA and WNSL out, and now Wembley looks assured of opening in time for next year's FA Cup Final. Wembley was originally scheduled to reopen in January 2005, which resulted in the satellite company breaching the terms of its bank loans.

Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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