Arsenal unveil four-tier stadium

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The Independent Online

Arsenal have unveiled plans for a new 60,000-seat stadium. The new state-of-the-art development at Ashburton Grove, Islington, will be over four tiers and include the Arsenal museum and shop, as well as restaurants and bars.

Arsenal have unveiled plans for a new 60,000-seat stadium. The new state-of-the-art development at Ashburton Grove, Islington, will be over four tiers and include the Arsenal museum and shop, as well as restaurants and bars.

The Premiership club hope to locate a sports and community centre next to the new ground, as well as administration offices. The Gunners want to develop land in the Lough Road and Eden Grove area which has been derelict and underused for more than 20 years. Discussions are taking place with the landowners Railtrack, Sainsbury and Peabody Trust for the redevelopment of the six-hectare site.

Planning applications were yesterday submitted to the London Borough of Islington, which has indicated it would be prepared to recommend compulsory purchase of any property necessary. Arsenal hope to get the go-ahead by next spring and aim to make season 2004-5 the first at the new stadium.

Ken Friar, a director, said: "The new stadium will be a stunning addition to the area and will provide a landmark building of which everyone can be proud. Our proposals will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider area by safeguarding and creating 3,500 jobs, providing over 1,000 new homes and injecting over £400m of investment into the area. For over 20 years the Lough Road area has been a blot on the Islington landscape. These proposals will provide substantial public benefit and, unlike previous failed schemes, can be delivered."

The club's plans for the redevelopment of their current ground at Highbury include preserving the East and West Stands by converting them into new apartments. Two new housing developments - incorporating flats and mews housing - together with light industrial units and a restaurant, will replace the existing North and South Stands.

Meanwhile, the former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka said that confidence among players at Paris St-Germain is low following recent defeats. PSG have suffered back-to-back reverses against Bordeaux (2-1) and Auxerre (1-0), and Anelka is so worried about the club's performances that he has called for a complete overhaul of midfield.

"I think it's time to react because we are going to end up losing everything," Anelka said on his website. "When you look at it, our problem midfield is not new. We don't have a play-maker, and with only one defensive midfielder in Pete [Luccin], it's impossible."

Anelka, no stranger to giving his view on team tactics and formation, also believes that new blood must be brought in if Paris are to succeed in the French top division. "Paris are a huge club and there are a lot of players in the wings waiting for their chance to play," he added. "I really think now is the time to introduce these players. All these guys who play in the CFA [French amateur leagues, feeder clubs to the French top flight] have what it takes, while we're dead on our feet."

Anelka returned to PSG, his first professional club, for around £18m in July following a tumultuous season with the Spanish club Real Madrid in which he was suspended for 45 days and fined £200,000 for refusing to train. Part of that punishment was also because he suggested alternative team tactics to suit his style of play. He eventually apologised and was recalled to the squad, going on to help Real lift the European Cup.

Verona have been fined 15m lire (£4,900) after Serie A officials ruled that the club's fans taunted Internazionale's Clarence Seedorf, a black Dutch midfielder, on Sunday.

Bari were fined 5m lire after their fans booed Parma's Cameroon striker Patrick Mboma the same day.

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