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FA keeps out of Wembley Stadium row

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (FA) officials this week rejected calls to intervene in the dispute between Wembley Stadium contractor Multiplex and steel supplier Cleveland Bridge.

Labour MP Alan Milburn last week warned the FA that the contractual fight threatened to delay the project, due to complete in 2006.

Milburn is MP for Darlington, where Cleveland's fabrication plant is based.

Cleveland recently issued a £20M writ against the Australian firm Multiplex, alleging breach of contract following its dismissal from the Wembley site in July.

At issue are claims for work on the project's landmark arch.

Cleveland had completed erection of the arch but was replaced by Dutch firm Hollandia for the remaining roof structures.

It retained the steel supply contract, but withdrew from it earlier this month (NCE 5/12 August).

Last week Milburn wrote to Michael Cunnah, chairman of the FA's Wembley National Stadium Ltd, to voice concerns about delay and urged the FA to investigate. 'We do not see a need, ' responded an FA spokesman 'and are satisfied with the assurance from Multiplex that work will be done on time.'

Most Cleveland staff and workers on site have moved over to Hollandia. Manual workers have been taken on by Hollandia's subcontractor Fast Track Site Services.

Some 95 redundancies are likely at Cleveland's fabrication works.

lCrane lifts at Wembley were suspended as NCE went to press after a 35t steel beam broke loose from a crane during a lift on Friday. The steel element was caught by a roof stanchion but missed injuring workers below.

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