Finance director tells High Court that firm relied on Saudi shareholder for financial support during Wembley contract.

Cleveland Bridge finance director James Child yesterday denied that the steel firm had knowingly entered into an undervalued contract on Wembley.

Speaking from the witness stand in the £50m High Court trial on Monday, Child acknowledged that he was "very concerned" about the Wembley contract by December 2003. However, he denied allegations from Multiplex QC Roger Stewart that he would have been "absolutely terrified that the company had taken on a loss making contract" which it had "grossly undervalued."

Child said: "I was not absolutely terrifed, no. I believed there was a commercial solution to the problem, as did my director."

Under cross-examination from Stewart, Child went on to acknowledge that CBUK had been "wholly dependent" on the support of its Saudi Arabian parent group Al Rushaid Investment Group to rescue it from a critical financial position during its Wembley contract.

Child admitted that in December 2003, - shortly before the Heads of Agreement was signed - Cleveland Bridge had not been in a position to meet the obligations of its shareholders without a financial injection from its major shareholder, Sheikh Abdullah. This led to CBUK's push for a new deal with Multiplex.

Child said: "Sheikh Abdullah was advised that it was in no-one's interest for Multiplex and Cleveland Bridge to carry on as they had been, fighting on site. The job may never have been finished."