FA show of confidence fails to rub off on bookmakers as Cup Final deadline looms.
Bookmaker William Hill say that the odds of Wembley Stadium being ready to host the FA Cup final on May 13 have tipped against the project being complete for the first time.
While Wembley bosses insist they are confident that contractor Multiplex will deliver the new stadium on time - despite the fact that the main pedestrian walkway is likely to be completed just days before the FA Cup Final on May 13 - William Hill is offering odds of 1/2 that it won't be ready in time.
Construction of the £757m sports stadium hit yet another obstacle when local land-owner Quintain Estates disputed Multiplex's right of access. Consequently work on the pedestrian walkway - due to start in September 2005 and take 13 weeks - has only just begun.
Multiplex says that Wembley National Stadium Ltd, the FA subsidiary that will manage the stadium when it is complete, has failed to meet its obligation to ensure access to key sites. The contractor, which had previously been told it would bear all the cost overruns associated with the scheme, now wants WNSL pay £120,000 per day for hampering its work.
In the event of the stadium being incomplete in May the Cup final will be held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.