Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Third Report


Our previous consideration

43. Wembley was selected as the venue for the new English National Stadium before this Committee was established. Although there is a continuing and understandable wish to reflect upon the merits of that original decision in the light of subsequent events, there were several reasons why the National Stadium project developed as it did.

44. The current Wembley Stadium, which has served as the de facto National Stadium, has reached the end of its useful life.[111] There is a lingering nostalgia for the current Stadium, but, as Mr Banks observed, such feelings are rarely felt by those seeking to use some of its rudimentary facilities.[112] While some continue to advocate the renovation of the Stadium, that case comes up against the overwhelming problem that a renovated Stadium would have a capacity for only 60,000 spectators and would not be of the standard required by UEFA for staging certain major finals.[113]

45. Successive Governments have shown no inclination to invest taxpayers' money directly in the construction of a new English National Stadium or in the subsidy of a national stadium without commercial viability.[114] In consequence, responsibility for public support lay with Sport England which made a grant towards the project from its Lottery Fund. As consideration of the project progressed, it also became apparent that, while the new National Stadium was envisaged for annual use by rugby league and for use once or twice in a generation by athletics, the venue would depend for its viability upon the commitment of football. The essential role of football in ensuring the Stadium's viability led the Football Association to assume a decisive role in the selection of Wembley as the venue for the National Stadium and in the management of the project.[115]

46. We have considered the Wembley National Stadium project on two previous occasions. In April 1999, we visited the current Stadium for briefings on the plans and took oral evidence from the then Chairman and the Chief Executive of the company responsible for the project.[116] We subsequently recommended the designation of a Minister with specific responsibility to review Government involvement with the project and in particular with the wider site.[117]

47. When the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport raised doubts in early December 1999 about Wembley's suitability as a venue for major athletics events and as a central venue for an Olympic Games in London, we decided to conduct a further inquiry focused on the new Stadium. The Secretary of State subsequently announced that, while athletics was feasible at Wembley, it would be better to pursue other options for the staging of major athletics events. The Secretary of State has justified this approach on four main grounds: the "platform" solution—whereby a temporary deck would be inserted for athletics events—was expensive and time-consuming; the sight-lines offered with the platform in place and 80,000 seats would not be of the standard desirable for a competitive Olympic bid; the provision of a warm-up track would be costly and might offer little long-term value; and Wembley would not offer a long-term legacy for athletics.[118]

48. In our Report published on 2 March 2000, we concluded that the "platform" concept was an innovative and effective design solution that properly reflected the proposed balance of usage of the Stadium, that the sight-lines available in the new Wembley Stadium as an athletics venue with a capacity of 80,000 seats would be of a high standard and that most of the objections to those sight-lines were unsustainable, that there were affordable options for a warm-up track for the 2005 World Athletics Championships, and that use of Wembley would be in the long-term interests of the sport of athletics. We recommended that, should a United Kingdom bid for the 2005 World Athletics Championships be successful, the Stadium should be built initially with the athletics platform in place and with a capacity of 80,000.[119]

49. The main recommendation of that Report was rejected by the Government within an hour of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport receiving our Report.[120] The Government provided a fuller response 21 days later that expanded on the reasons for the rejection of our recommendations.[121] No new evidence has emerged in that document or in other submissions received by this Committee that leads us to consider that the conclusions of our Report on Wembley National Stadium were other than well-founded. Nevertheless, little purpose would be served by replaying the arguments of the previous inquiry about the design of the new Stadium. We concentrate principally on three issues where new evidence has emerged or the situation has changed, relating to the wider site, the management and financing of the project and the agreement to pay £20 million to Sport England following the removal of athletics from the plans.

The wider site

50. When we visited the site on 14 April 1999, it was apparent to us that Wembley faced many problems as the location for a new National Stadium. The surrounding land and infrastructure simply did not match the ambitions for the Stadium itself. As Sir Nigel Mobbs observed, it is "a great pity" that more land was not acquired from Wembley plc to enable further complementary development surrounding the new National Stadium.[122] In May 1999, we recommended urgent consideration of the case for direct Government assistance in the development of the wider site at Wembley.[123] Partly in response to our concern, the Government established the Wembley Task Force under the chairmanship of Sir Nigel Mobbs.[124]

51. During our visit in April 1999 we were alerted by Mr Stubbs, the Chief Executive of what was then the English National Stadium Development Company, to the problems relating to the identification, acquisition, funding and development of a warm-up track that was an essential requirement for any major athletics event.[125] Between May and November 1999 significant progress was made on this issue. On 1 December 1999, the Secretary of State confirmed that the development of a warm-up track was "possible to achieve, given the right circumstances".[126] Sir Nigel Mobbs stated in oral evidence that he had advised the Secretary of State that the 2005 World Athletics Championships "could be accommodated" at Wembley, while expressing reservations about the desirability of staging that event at the new Stadium.[127] Despite viewing a warm-up track as possible on 1 December 1999, the Secretary of State told us during this inquiry that the problems surrounding warm-up facilities had played as large a part in his decision to remove athletics from Wembley as had his doubts about the design of the Stadium.[128]

52. On 14 March 2000, Sir Nigel Mobbs wrote a letter responding to our Report on Wembley National Stadium, a response that was published by the Government as part of its reply to our Report.[129] In that response, in addition to expressing doubts about the expense and legacy value of a warm-up track, Sir Nigel Mobbs argued that the possibility of future Olympic use of Wembley would impose a form of "blight" on the surrounding land that would be contrary to the wider objectives of regeneration. That statement was used by the Government as the basis for a claim in its own response to our Report that Sir Nigel Mobbs considered the Committee to have "failed to give due consideration to the objectives of regenerating the area surrounding the Stadium and the improvement of the economic base of the Wembley area".[130]

53. The letter from Sir Nigel Mobbs was not the first occasion on which we had learnt of the potential conflict between Wembley's identification as a possible main Olympic venue and regeneration objectives. On 14 April 1999, Mr Stubbs told us that the objective of creating high density development to stimulate inward investment and job creation was "not necessarily compatible with any eventual plan to cluster a wide range of other sports facilities around the National Stadium".[131] He also noted that no organisation or agency was responsible for acquiring the land to preserve the opportunity for further sports development at Wembley.[132]

54. Our subsequent consideration of the project endeavoured to reflect our understanding of that issue. We highlighted the many problems caused for the project by uncertainty about the Olympic dimension. Our recommendations were directed specifically at the 2005 World Athletics Championships. We argued that consideration of Wembley's suitability for that event had been unnecessarily skewed by concern about an Olympic bid that remained in the early stages of consideration.[133]

55. Sir Nigel Mobbs confirmed in oral evidence that his concern about development blight related specifically to an Olympic bid and to the time delay for development that such a bid would entail, and that his concern did not apply to the 2005 World Athletics Championships.[134] He indicated that his advice to the Secretary of State had been that the use of Wembley Stadium on "a one-off basis" for the 2005 World Athletics Championships was achievable.[135] He confirmed in writing that, "on the basis of a one-off use", the staging of the 2005 World Athletics Championships at Wembley "would not prejudice the long-term regeneration of the surrounding area".[136] That statement leaves no doubt that the implementation of the recommendations in our Report on Wembley National Stadium would not have prejudiced the long-term regeneration of the area and that the Government had no basis for implying in its reply that such implementation of our recommendations would have done so.

56. Some of the pieces of the jigsaw that are required if there are to be suitable surroundings for the National Stadium are beginning to be put in place. Planning permission was granted by Brent Council on 1 June 2000, subject to an agreement by Wembley National Stadium Limited to contribute £17.2 million at 2000 prices towards the transport infrastructure costs.[137] That contribution is in addition to the investment committed in principle to the area as a result of the work of the Wembley Task Force. Sir Nigel Mobbs estimated that a total of £130 million would be spent on improvements to the road and rail infrastructure.[138] He indicated that, while this investment was much-needed, the fundamental transport infrastructure for a stadium at Wembley was good.[139] He also observed that confirmation that the new Stadium would be built would be the essential "catalyst" for regeneration.[140] We commend the Wembley Task Force and the participating organisations for their endeavours so far, which should ensure that the transport infrastructure and environment developed at Wembley befit a National Stadium.

Management and financing of the project

57. We stated in May 1999 that the redevelopment of Wembley "appears to us to be well-managed under the auspices of the Football Association".[141] Last year we considered the financing and costs of the project briefly during our inquiry centred on the Stadium's suitability for athletics. We noted that the estimated costs of construction stood at £334 million, a sizeable increase attributed to a growth in the planned capacity of the Stadium, enhancements to spectator provision and additional commercial facilities that were expected to be "self-funding". The construction costs are higher than for comparable stadia because Wembley is intended to offer a broader range of business opportunities, with a hotel and other facilities as well as the Stadium itself.[142] The direct construction costs have not increased since we last considered the project. Indeed, a construction contract has been agreed for £326.5 million, slightly lower than the total provision for construction in early 2000.[143] However, the funding sought for the project has increased markedly.

58. The estimated cost of the redevelopment as a whole in January 2000 was £475 million.[144] By December 2000 the complete project budget was said to be £660 million. There were three factors behind this increase. First, as we have already noted, a contribution of £17.2 million is to be made by Wembley National Stadium Limited towards the costs of improving local infrastructure. Second, a payment of £20 million is to be made to Sport England as part of the agreement concerning the removal of athletics from the Stadium plans. Third, the total of £35 million allowed for project management and funding costs in January 2000 has been replaced by a provision of £191 million for professional fees, finance, management, pre-opening and all contingency costs.[145]

59. Wembley National Stadium Limited decided to raise the funding sought through a syndicated loan. In January 2000, we were told that there would be "a lead bank who will underwrite the whole loan".[146] In February 2000, Chase Manhattan Bank was selected as lead arranger for the loan syndication.[147] Mr Stubbs informed us during the present inquiry that Chase Manhattan's probing of the project had led to some of the additional provision in the budget and to the position in which Chase Manhattan was no longer underwriting the budget.[148]

60. Although work on demolishing the existing Stadium was not planned to begin until after financial completion, the Stadium was closed at about the same time as syndication was launched in anticipation of success of that process.[149] Sir Rodney Walker accepted that, in the light of subsequent developments, it might have been better not to have closed the existing Stadium so soon.[150] However, the nature of the staging agreement between the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited is such that the latter organisation continues to receive reliable income from the Football Association regardless of whether the Stadium is open or not. This arrangement is considered essential to the viability of the project. In consequence, the premature closure of the existing Stadium does not affect the financial position of Wembley National Stadium Limited.[151]

61. On 8 December 2000, the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited announced a delay in the project's financing process to enable them to tackle a number of issues raised during syndication.[152] A variety of factors have been invoked to explain the project's failure to conform with its target for financial completion in December 2000.[153] Mr Stubbs considered that difficulties with planning permission had added three or four months to the project.[154] He also claimed that "the debate about athletics probably delayed us by several months".[155] Taken together, he said that those delays led to funding being sought for the Stadium in a far less strong market than had been available in early 2000.[156] While Mr Bates, as Chairman of the Company at the time, was prepared to accept some share of responsibility for the failure, he criticised the performance of both Chase Manhattan and the Stadium Company's financial advisers, Investec.[157]

62. Mr Bates also considered that the turnaround in Ministerial attitudes towards the project after July 1999 contributed to diminished confidence in the project within the City.[158] He contended that the financing would have been successful if Ministers had done what he thought they should do, namely be "on the sidelines cheering us on".[159] Mr Bates alleged that the Minister for Sport encouraged press stories critical of the project.[160] Sir Rodney Walker told us that the project in the form in which it had gone to the market in late 2000 had lacked "some of the essential elements that were necessary to provide confidence", but was not more specific.[161] He did, however, observe that revenue from football rather than Government funding underpinned the business case and that football was "entitled to have the opportunity to proceed with this project without undue interference".[162]

63. The Minister for Sport thought that the decision to remove athletics from Wembley National Stadium "made no difference whatsoever to the delay in terms of when they went to the City for their money". She considered the imputation by Mr Bates that Ministerial involvement had somehow caused the delay to be "absolute nonsense". The Minister for Sport added that she had been "too busy" to worry about the other allegations levelled against her by Mr Bates.[163]

64. Following the unsuccessful syndication of the project, Mr Bates was asked to step aside as unpaid Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Limited. He agreed to do so and was replaced as Chairman, now paid, by Sir Rodney Walker.[164] Mr Bates was asked to remain as unpaid Executive Vice-Chairman and initially accepted that suggestion, but subsequently resigned from that position, citing the lack of support for the project as it was then conceived within the Stadium Company and the Football Association and the absence of direct contact up to that point between the new Chairman and him, the Company's putative Executive Vice-Chairman.[165]

65. Upon taking up his post, Sir Rodney Walker initiated a wide-ranging review of the project, including both the business case and the design proposals. Sir Rodney Walker told us that this review had not led to any significant changes to the project and that he thought "the fact that I have been unable to identify any significant errors in any aspects of the Stadium is itself a tribute to Mr Bates and the work that he has done on the project".[166] In particular, Sir Rodney confirmed that he was "happy to defend" the proposals "to incorporate vastly improved back-of-house facilities", such as catering, in the project.[167] The design promoted by Mr Bates remains "essentially unchanged" and Sir Rodney Walker endorsed the view of Mr Bates that the Stadium was very likely to be built according to that design.[168]

66. As part of his review of the project, Sir Rodney Walker undertook extensive consultations about the possibility of staging the 2005 World Athletics Championships at Wembley.[169] He personally decided that it would not be appropriate to do so, but made clear in evidence that this was "simply because of uncertainty on time", and not because he had yet come to a definitive position on whether the design proposed under his predecessor and endorsed by him would be capable of staging athletics events.[170] He said that the existing timetable for completion of construction by December 2004 was contingent upon the success of the next attempt at syndication and he could not give an absolute guarantee that financing would be sought and obtained on the timetable currently proposed.[171] Mr Stubbs added that the firm deadline for completion implied by a commitment to stage the 2005 World Athletics Championships would add risks to the project which would entail increases in contingency.[172]

67. In the near future, Wembley National Stadium Limited will be making a second attempt to secure funding for the Stadium project from the City.[173] The Football Association has agreed to make an enhanced financial commitment to the venture.[174] Sir Rodney Walker said that he was committed to returning to the City to obtain the necessary finance "only when I am convinced that we shall get a positive answer".[175] He added that he had "become increasingly confident that, when I return to the City having got an increase in appropriate level of support from the Football Association, we shall achieve the necessary support we are seeking to enable us to start work at the earliest possible date".[176] If Sir Rodney Walker's confidence proves justified, demolition of the existing Stadium will begin in June 2001.[177]

68. There are a number of factors that contributed to the initial failure of syndication of the loan to fund the Wembley National Stadium project, some within the control of Wembley National Stadium Limited and some not. The combined delays to the project led to funding being sought in a less favourable financial climate. With the benefit of hindsight, it now appears that the Company, its financial partners and the Football Association did not react to this changing climate as effectively as would have been desirable.

The proposed payment of £20 million

69. In our Report on Wembley National Stadium we considered the circumstances that led to a proposal that the Football Association or Wembley National Stadium Limited pay £20 million to Sport England, agreement on which was announced at the time that the Secretary of State finalised his decision that the new Wembley National Stadium should not be a venue for athletics. We return to this matter, because evidence received since our last inquiry has shed further light on the circumstances of that proposal and because those circumstances may help to explain why the payment appears to remain even now a notional transaction without firm contractual foundations.

70. In our Report on Wembley National Stadium we stated that the proposal for the payment of £20 million "was first made by Mr David Richards, the Chairman of the FA Premier League", on 16 December 1999, at a meeting at No. 10 Downing Street.[178] Earlier this year, the Secretary of State said in evidence to us:

    "I certainly do not know of any discussions which may or may not be claimed to have taken place at 10 Downing Street".[179]

Yet, when Mr Bates told us on 1 February 2000 that the idea of a payment from football "was suggested" at No. 10 Downing Street, his claim was supported only two days later from another source—a parliamentary answer by the Minister for Sport:

    "An informal proposal was made by David Richards ... on 16 December 1999 in the margins of a meeting at No. 10 [Downing Street] to discuss the proposed Football Foundation. This was relayed to ... the Secretary of State by Department for Culture, Media and Sport officials and followed up by more formal discussions between my Department and the Football Association."[180]

71. Although the meeting that may well have given rise to the concept of a payment slipped the Secretary of State's mind, he did acknowledge the involvement of his Department's "officials" in discussions with the Football Association.[181] That supports the previous claim by Mr Bates that Mr Geoff Thompson had had conversations with officials of the Department subsequent to the meeting at No. 10 Downing Street.[182] What is completely absent from previous accounts given by Ministers of that episode is any reference to the pivotal role played by someone who is not an official of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport but a private individual—Sir Nigel Mobbs.

72. We learned last year of the role played by Mr Thompson, the Chairman of the Football Association, in discussions with officials.[183] During the present inquiry, Mr Thompson told us that Sir Nigel Mobbs was a party to the discussions, having been asked by the Secretary of State "to consider what compensation might be payable if Wembley were released of the obligation to have athletics".[184] We then invited Sir Nigel Mobbs himself to give oral evidence.

73. Sir Nigel Mobbs confirmed that he had been asked by the Secretary of State to examine the recovery of Lottery funds from the Stadium Company and had then been asked by the Secretary of State to negotiate with the Football Association.[185] Sir Nigel Mobbs informed us that "the original request from the Secretary of State was for £40 million".[186] The Football Association was concerned about whether such a sum was affordable. There had then been "haggling" which "led to a figure of £20 million, which was acceptable to the Secretary of State".[187] In consequence, there was "a hand-shake agreement" between Sir Nigel Mobbs and Mr Richards that £20 million would be paid.[188] During the present inquiry, the Secretary of State confirmed that he had asked Sir Nigel Mobbs to "assist as an honest broker between the various parties".[189]

74. Mr Bates has previously told us that he himself was not a decisive player in the agreement to pay £20 million. He met the Secretary of State on 22 December, but was "not party to the discussions that took place; I was merely the errand boy sent from on high to resolve the matter".[190] The Secretary of State also told us that the meeting on 22 December was "a confirmation meeting; it was not a negotiating meeting".[191] When it was put to him that his previous accounts had not made this clear, he said that "precisely how we arrived at that position did not at the time appear to be material".[192]

75. In the course of discussions between the Football Association and Sir Nigel Mobbs, the possibility was raised that restrictions on commercial exploitation of the new Stadium that were imposed by the Lottery Funding Agreement might be relaxed.[193] Mr Bates implied that he raised that issue with the Secretary of State on 22 December.[194] The Secretary of State has stated that no agreement on easing of commercial restrictions was made on 22 December or subsequently.[195]

76. On 7 January 2000, the Secretary of State wrote to Mr Bates setting out his understanding of the agreement. Mr Thompson understood from Mr Bates that the issue of commercial constraints had arisen in discussions between Mr Bates and the Secretary of State and so wrote to the Secretary of State on 31 January 2000 as follows:

    "You were also kind enough to say that in your view the Lottery Funding Agreement should, and could, be amended to reduce the amount of grant to £100 million, and to release some of the commercial constraints on Wembley National Stadium Limited so that it can generate funds to enable the payments by the group".[196]

77. In his reply to that letter on 9 February 2000, the Secretary of State did not take the opportunity to contest the accuracy of the claim in Mr Thompson's letter. Instead, he stated that it had been confirmed with Sport England that:

    "it seems wholly reasonable to consider, with legal advice, amendments to particular conditions of the Lottery Funding Agreement which are requested by parties to the original Agreement. While this could include relaxation of the existing commercial constraints upon Wembley National Stadium Limited, such as naming rights, we will have to take a view on the proposals once the detail has emerged."[197]

According to Sport England, differing interpretations of the scope of the agreement reached on 22 December 1999 between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Wembley National Stadium Limited in relation to commercial restraints on matters such as naming rights caused a delay of several months in progress on the documentary, legal text giving effect to that agreement.[198]

78. In September 2000, there was a "successful resolution" on the issue of commercial rights. Wembley National Stadium Limited agreed to pay £20 million to Sport England in return for the removal from the Lottery Funding Agreement of the requirement to stage certain athletics events. The parties agreed that relaxation of commercial restraints would not form part of the changes to the Lottery Funding Agreement, but that the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited would reserve the right to make an application for such relaxation in the future, on the understanding that Sport England would have the unfettered right to approve or reject such a request.[199]

79. The revision of the Lottery Funding Agreement proposed by the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited to give effect to the payment of £20 million was considered by Sport England on 6 November 2000, but a decision was deferred, in part because of uncertainty about the development of the alternative venue for the 2005 World Athletics Championships at Picketts Lock.[200] On 4 December 2000, Sport England agreed to the proposed payment.[201] However, before the arrangement could be finalised, the possibility that Wembley might stage the 2005 World Athletics Championships was reconsidered by Sir Rodney Walker. In consequence, discussions are continuing and the necessary changes to the Lottery Funding Agreement have not yet been made.[202] Although Mr Bates argued that the payment ought not to be made, both Sir Rodney Walker and Mr Geoff Thompson thought that there was a "moral obligation" upon Wembley National Stadium Limited and the Football Association to make the payment.[203]

80. From 22 December 1999 onwards, it was envisaged that the payment of £20 million would be made over a period beginning in December 2000 and ending in December 2004.[204] The first payment has not yet been made, and the Government and Sport England both accepted that payments were unlikely to begin until the funding of the new Stadium had been assured.[205] The Secretary of State and Sport England both expected the remainder of the original timetable to be adhered to, with the final payment in December 2004.[206] Wembley National Stadium Limited appeared to envisage a longer timetable, with the final payment made 48 months after the amendments to the Lottery Funding Agreement have been signed, implying that the final payment would not be received until at least the Spring of 2005.[207]

81. Sport England accepted that there was a difference of opinion about the payment timetable and said that it was seeking to clarify the matter with Wembley National Stadium Limited, but Sport England viewed the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as best-placed to end the uncertainty about the timetable for payment, in view of the fact that the original agreement was between the Secretary of State and Mr Bates.[208] The Secretary of State saw no reason why the original timetable should not be adhered to, and was prepared to express that opinion to Wembley National Stadium Limited, but saw such details as a matter for Sport England because he said that it was "an agreement ... between Sport England and the Football Association brokered by ourselves in Government".[209] However, there remains uncertainty about the nature of the original agreement that the money should be paid. That uncertainty has, ironically, been heightened by two unsolicited letters received by this Committee since the conclusion of this inquiry. These letters purport to clarify the situation, but in fact confuse it, even though—or perhaps because—both letters have been signed by Mr Trevor Brooking, the Chairman of Sport England. Mr Brooking wrote to the Chairman of the Committee on 22 March saying that he "thought it might be helpful if I clarified a number of points which emerged during yesterday's hearing" (the hearing at which the Secretary of State gave oral evidence).[210] In that letter, Mr Brooking said:

    "I must beg to differ from the suggestion that the £20 million payment was 'agreed between the Football Association and Sport England'. As we indicated in our evidence to the Committee, this agreement was reached between the Secretary of State and Ken Bates (the then Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Limited) on 23 December 1999, without any Sport England involvement."[211]

In his oral evidence on 21 March, the Secretary of State had made reference to the letter that he wrote to Mr Bates on 7 January 2000 that explicitly refers to "the agreement we reached".[212] Mr Brooking's letter of 22 March had insisted that the only agreement about the payment of £20 million was that reached between the Secretary of State and Mr Bates.[213] However, the Chairman of the Committee then received a further letter, dated 27 March, signed by the Secretary of State and also, perhaps disconcertingly, by Mr Brooking, in which a different version was provided:

    "The offer made by the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited to pay £20 million from the original grant of £120 million was agreed by the Secretary of State and the Football Association on 23 December 1999. The application to amend the terms of the Lottery Funding Agreement to effect payment and the removal of athletics was made by the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited on 29 September 2000 and, after extensive consultation, was agreed by the Sport England Council on 4 December 2000. The formal agreement between Sport England, the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited will be concluded once financial close has been achieved on the package of debt financing."[214]

82. The continuing dispute, despite attempted clarification, about precisely who are the parties to the agreement to pay £20 million represents a symptom of the uncertainties that have surrounded the payment since its inception. The payment appears to have originated with a handshake between Sir Nigel Mobbs and Mr David Richards, Chairman of the FA Premier League. It was then the subject of a second handshake between the Secretary of State and Mr Bates. More than fifteen months after those handshakes, the agreement has still not been given final documentary and legal form and even the timetable for payment remains open to doubt. The delays and difficulties arise from the extremely unusual manner in which the payment was negotiated.

111  HC (1999-2000) 164, paras 4-5. Back

112  Q 203. Back

113  QQ 51, 53. Back

114  HC (1999-2000) 164, para 19. Back

115  HC (1998-99) 124-I, paras 131-132; HC (1999-2000) 164, paras 6-8, 11-15. Back

116  HC (1998-99) 124-I, pp lxv-lxvi; HC (1998-99) 124-II, pp 123-133. Back

117  HC (1998-99) 124-I, paras 129-140. Back

118  Government Response to the Fourth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Session 1999-2000, on Wembley National Stadium, Cm 4686, March 2000, paras 8-9, 10-13, 16-17; Q 532. Back

119  HC (1999-2000) 164, paras 47, 107-109, 139. Back

120  HC Deb, 14 March 2000, col 154W; Department for Culture, Media and Sport press notice 49/2000. Back

121  Cm 4686. Back

122  Q 361. Back

123  HC (1998-99) 124-I, para 140. Back

124  HC (1999-2000) 164, paras 39-40, 45; Cm 4686, para 4. Back

125  HC (1998-99) 124-I, p lxv; Ibid, para 134. Back

126  HC Deb, 1 December 1999, col 312. Back

127  QQ 363, 367, 374, 376. Back

128  Q 532. Back

129  Cm 4686, p 6. Back

130  Ibid, para 16. Back

131  HC (1998-99) 124-I, p lxv. Back

132  Ibid, p lxvi. Back

133  HC (1999-2000) 164, paras 139, 147. Back

134  QQ 363, 365. Back

135  QQ 374-375. Back

136  Evidence, p 170. Back

137  Evidence, p 6. Back

138  Q 356. Back

139  Q 361. Back

140  Q 360. Back

141  HC (1998-99) 124-I, para 138. Back

142  HC (1999-2000) 164, para 18; QQ 479-484. Back

143  Evidence, p 6; Q 12. Back

144  HC (1999-2000) 164, p 40. Back

145  Ibid; Evidence, p 6. Back

146  HC (1999-2000) 164, Q 133. Back

147  Evidence, p 6. Back

148  Q 45. Back

149  Evidence, p 7. Back

150  Q 38. Back

151  QQ 39, 71-72, 273-275. Back

152  Evidence, p 46. Back

153  Evidence, p 7. Back

154  Q 40. Back

155  IbidBack

156  Q 47. Back

157  Q 24; Letter from Mr Ken Bates to Mr Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of the Football Association, 7 February 2001, pp 2-3. Back

158  Q 3. Back

159  Q 8. Back

160  QQ 23, 25, 26. Back

161  Q 54. Back

162  QQ 56, 59. Back

163  Q 466. Back

164  Letter from Mr Bates to Mr Crozier, 7 February 2001, p 3; Q 271. Back

165  Q 23; Letter from Mr Bates to Mr Crozier, 7 February 2001, passimBack

166  Q 36. Back

167  Q 61. Back

168  Evidence, p 9; QQ 12, 26, 51. Back

169  Q 60. Back

170  IbidBack

171  Q 42. Back

172  Q 48. Back

173  Evidence, p 9. Back

174  Evidence, pp 9, 46. Back

175  Q 42. Back

176  Q 51. Back

177  Evidence, p 10. Back

178  HC (1999-2000) 164, para 113. Back

179  HC (2000-01) 56-II, Q 677. Back

180  HC (1999-2000) 164, Q 289; HC Deb, 3 February 2000, col 734W. Back

181  HC (2000-01) 56-II, Q 678. Back

182  HC (1999-2000) 164, Q 289. Back

183  IbidBack

184  Q 269. Back

185  Q 358. Back

186  Q 370. Back

187  IbidBack

188  QQ 358, 368. Back

189  Q 528. Back

190  HC (1999-2000) 164, Q 302. Back

191  Q 529. Back

192  IbidBack

193  Q 382. Back

194  QQ 18, 20. Back

195  HC (2000-01) 56-II, Q 680; Evidence, p 203. Back

196  Evidence, p 41; Q 270; Letter from Mr Thompson to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, 31 January 2000. Back

197  Letter from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to Mr Thompson, 9 February 2000; Q 537. Back

198  Evidence, p 41. Back

199  Evidence, pp 41, 7. Back

200  Evidence, pp 41-42. Back

201  Evidence, p 42. Back

202  Evidence, pp 46-47, 10. Back

203  QQ 32, 66, 269. Back

204  Evidence, p 203. Back

205  Evidence, pp 203, 47; Q 490. Back

206  Evidence, pp 203, 41. Back

207  Evidence, p 7. Back

208  Evidence, pp 290-291. Back

209  QQ 491-497. Back

210  Appendix 1. Back

211  IbidBack

212  Q 498; Letter from the Secretary of State to Mr Bates, 7 January 2000. Back

213  Appendix 1. Back

214  Appendix 2. Back

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