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Sailors threaten to sink Fulham Stadium


FULHAM FOOTBALL Club's new £70M stadium could still be scuppered by a 112 year old sailing club, despite overcoming its latest planning hurdle last week.

The club fears the new stadium could shelter part of the neighbouring river Thames from vital wind currents, making sailing impossible.

Two local sailing clubs raised objections to the new stadium last week after local opposition group Fulham Alliance failed to win a High Court order for the 30,000 seat project to go to a full planning inquiry.

Ranelagh & South Bank sailing clubs sail from bases downstream of Fulham's existing 20,787 capacity Craven Cottage stadium.

The two clubs' 210 members already struggle to sail past the ground because of the wind shadow created by the stands.

'The new stadium will be 70% higher and 60m wider - making it almost impossible to pass. When the Eric Miller stand was extended, the increased difficulties resulted in a 30% drop in our membership and halved the Ranelagh club, ' said one South Bank club member.

Before chairman Mohamed Al Fayed took over Fulham, the club considered selling the site, but scrapped the idea after the sailors opposed plans for a high rise block of flats.

A giant wind funnel on the river side of the new stadium has been proposed by the sailors as a possible engineering compromise. This would channel the wind down to river level to spur on the racing vessels.

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