The scheme’s preferred bidder, the Bovis Lend Lease/Multiplex joint venture, believes that the Foster-designed stadium will cost £40-50m more than the £300m limit it is understood the client, Wembley National Stadium, has set.
WNSL chief executive Bob Stubbs said in February that Bovis Lend Lease/Multiplex had five months to come up with a deal, otherwise the contract would be retendered. Stubbs has always insisted that the project must be agreed at a guaranteed maximum price.
John Roberts, head of Multiplex, is in London this week and is understood to have met Stubbs and WNSL to discuss the price.
A spokesperson for WNSL denied that there was a problem. He said: “It’s a complex job and you don’t enter negotiations if everyone agrees and is happy. But we are confident there will be an agreement at the end of the month.”
Scheme insiders say that if the project did have to be retendered, WNSL would look at contractors previously in the running. These include Mowlem and Sir Robert McAlpine.
Another source said: “Now that England won’t be getting the World Cup, it is not up against a tight timeframe so it could retender. But it would be a severe embarrassment after the way WNSL treated the other contractors involved in the bidding.” Contractors involved described WNSL as “the client from hell”.
One industry source said: “It will have to go back cap in hand to either Mowlem or McAlpine because there is nobody else who can deliver it and it will have to do it on their terms.”
Bovis Lend Lease/Multiplex declined to comment.