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ARSENAL DELAYS STADIUM MOVE BY 'AT LEAST A YEAR'

HOK Sport+Event+Venue's plans for Arsenal FC's new £250 million stadium have run into further trouble, with the club admitting it will fail to meet its 2005 deadline for moving into its new 60,000capacity stadium at Ashburton Grove. The club told investors last week: 'A number of delays have occurred, not just on the construction of the stadium but with legal, financial and property issues.' The club said its move will be delayed from the start of the 2005/06 season by at least a year.

The AJ has learned that the club is still concerned that a public inquiry into compulsory purchase orders will scupper the project.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was due to make a final decision in July, but the date has now been moved back to September. HOK principal Rod Sheard said that there is nothing 'drastically wrong'with the scheme. 'It has hit some delays, which is to be expected on a scheme as complicated as this one, 'he said. 'And the club has decided it does not want to move midway through a season.'

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