Specialist contractor John Doyle is suing Manchester council for £1m over a contract on the city’s £90m stadium.

The dispute has arisen over the insitu concrete-frame package on the stadium, advertised in the European Union’s Official Journal in July 1999 for £7m.

Doyle worked on the package in a partnering-style arrangement with Amec, when Amec was preferred bidder, although it was not officially awarded the contract.

In a surprise move, Laing replaced Amec as preferred contractor in January. Laing continued to work with John Doyle for a further two-and-a-half months before the contract was let to a Laing/Heyrod partnership.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “As a matter which is potentially the subject of legal process, it would not be appropriate to make it the subject of public comment beyond saying that the council adheres fully to the European procurement directives.”

John Doyle, which issued the writ for £1m at the High Court in Manchester, declined to comment.

The stadium is part of Sportcity, the UK’s largest sports development.