Wembley client says Multiplex will miss Setember completion date and does not expect it to deliver stadium until later in the year

The client on the troubled Wembley stadium project has said it does not believe main contractor Multiplex will have the stadium finished by September, the revised completion date put forward by the Australian firm.

In a statement made ahead of Multiplex’s next update to the Australian stock exchange, due this week, Wembley National Stadium Ltd chief executive Michael Cunnah said Multiplex’s work was unlikely to be complete until later in the year.

Cunnah said: “Currently, Multiplex states that it will complete the stadium by September 2006. It is WNSL’s view that, at the current rate of progress, particularly in light of the extensive testing and commissioning regime that will be required, this is not likely to be achieved until later in the year.”

Cunnah underlined that Multiplex still had to finish the stadium’s roof, remedial works to the drainage systems, building management and life safety systems and the installation of 10,000 seats. Once the stadium is handed over, WNSL will have to carry out its own work, including the installation of communication systems.

Cunnah’s comments are a further sign of the deepening animosity between WNSL and Multiplex, which looks set to result in a legal battle over who should bear responsibility for the stadium’s lengthy delays.