Football: Six clubs told to be seated: Newcastle upset while Tottenham shares dip

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT yesterday refused six clubs, including Chelsea and Newcastle United, extra time in converting their grounds to all-seater stadiums. The deadline stipulated in the Taylor Report is 1 August 1994 so Chelsea - and possibly Newcastle - face embarking on European campaigns with some terraces closed.

Peter Brooke, the National Heritage secretary, also rejected pleas from Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town and Barnsley. The clubs have until 16 June to make further representations stressing the legitimacy of their cases.

Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Grimsby, Sunderland and Derby were granted extensions by Brooke because they all intend moving. If Derby earn promotion through the play-offs on Monday, the Baseball Ground will be the only Premiership arena with standing room next season.

Newcastle were 'extremely disappointed' by Brooke's decision, according to St James' general manager, Russell Cushing. 'We applied to be allowed to have standing in the Milburn Paddock next season due to the amount of work currently going on building the Gallowgate stand, re-laying the pitch and extending the roof on the Milburn stand.

'We can't understand how the Government can separate the two types of clubs - those carrying out a huge amount of work this summer like ourselves and those that are doing nothing because they will eventually relocate.

''We want to get the maximum number of people possible into the ground - we don't want to lock out our fans. But this ruling doesn't help.'

Chelsea, who intend spending pounds 10m on ground improvements this summer, accepted Brooke's edict. 'This is not a total surprise to us,' the Blues chief executive, Colin Hutchinson, said. 'We won't be going back on this because it will only lead to more delays. We could be staging a European tie as early as 10 August if we are involved in a preliminary round so we cannot afford to wait. We made representations to the Government in November about this and we can't let matters go any further.' The Shed will be closed, but the installation of 3,750 temporary seats in front of Chelsea's famous standing area will bring capacity to 24,000 seats.

Scots fear Gullit, page 38

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