Norwich, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Macclesfield and Sheffield United review plans after TV income disappears.
STADIUM and stand projects at several football grounds have been put on hold in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of ITV Digital last week.

Nationwide division one clubs Portsmouth and Norwich City this week confirmed that they were reviewing construction plans. Portsmouth had intended to build a stadium and Norwich a £15m stand.

A Portsmouth spokesperson said the club was in a healthy financial position because of the backing of its multimillionaire chairman Milan Mandaric, but added that it would still be affected by the loss of revenue.

The spokesperson said: "The effect of the collapse will be significant; it is going to take £3m off our bottom line, so any plans to redevelop our stadium or build an existing one are under review."

ITV Digital, which is owned by Carlton and Granada, is in dispute with the Football League over a £315m deal to televise games. The league, which is threatening legal action, claims that it is owed £179m on the three-year deal, worth up to £4m for first division clubs, up to £500,000 for second division clubs and £330,000 for those in the third.

Norwich City FC had received outline planning permission for a south stand and residential development. The club said its plans would be affected if it could not recoup the £4m it was to have received from television rights.

Other football projects hit include Plymouth Argyle's £4.5m stand, a 150-bed hotel at Sheffield United, and a £5m stand and leisure complex at Macclesfield.

Macclesfield Town chairman Colin Garlic said the club's construction plans now depended on external funders such as Sport England.

He said: "It's a terrible time for football clubs; we stand to lose up to 25% of our income."

Plymouth vice-chairman Peter Jones said a decision on when its stand would be built would be delayed. "We are determined to carry on with this project but until the ITV Digital situation is resolved we will not make a decision because we want it to be an informed decision at the right time."

A spokesperson for Norwich City FC said the club backed the stance taken by the league. He said: "There is grave concern over the revenue we receive from ITV Digital as Norwich, like many other clubs, have made plans on the basis of getting it."

Other clubs said their stadium plans were going ahead. Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, which was planning a £44m stadium, said it was not affected. "Our business case has been accepted by the council. The business plan does not include money from ITV Digital."

Plans for a stadium at Chesterfield FC were unaffected, according to its architect Terry Ward, partner at Sheffield-based practice Ward McHugh.

Who’s been knocked out?

Still going
A £44m new-build ground is still on track at Brighton, and Cardiff City is to press on with its new stadium, which will cost between £40m and £60m. Other large projects are new grounds for Brentford Town, Swansea City and Chesterfield; Stockport County is to construct a new stand On hold
Macclesfield has shelved plans for a £5m stand and leisure complex, Portsmouth has postponed its stadium, Plymouth Argyle’s £4.5m grandstand is in doubt, as is a 150-bed hotel for Sheffield United and a £15m stand at Norwich City.