Football: Wembley to be sold for pounds 103m

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THE English National Stadium Trust has won its bid to buy Wembley Stadium and now will launch plans for a pounds 200m redevelopment.

A statement from Wembley plc released yesterday said: "Wembley is pleased to announce it has agreed in principle to sell the Wembley Stadium to the English National Stadium Trust for a cash consideration of pounds 103 million." The ENST's bid was backed by the United Kingdom Sports Council and the Football Association.

The Football Association's press officer, Steve Double, said that it has been "expected" that the English National Stadium Trust would win the bid to buy Wembley Stadium. "This has always been our declared intention,''he said.

Wales expect to announce today that their opening European Championship match with Italy will be played at Anfield. The FA of Wales Council met this week to discuss where to play their group matches, with the National Stadium in Cardiff unavailable while it is being rebuilt.

The FAW was acutely aware of the campaign being waged to have all the group matches played in Wales, despite the fact that none of the three main grounds - Ninian Park, Vetch Field and the Racecourse Ground - could handle more than 13,000 fans.

But the FAW, who made just pounds 100,000 from the recent Jamaica friendly at Ninian Park, know they could top pounds 500,000 at a major English ground for the Italy match on 5 September.