UK: WEMBLEY WANDERERS.

UK: WEMBLEY WANDERERS. - Thinking of soccer, one's mind, understandably, turns to Wembley plc where boardroom murmurs of discontent will no doubt have been picked up, despite the roars of Cup Final crowds outside. Chairman Sir Brian Wolfson is under pres

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Thinking of soccer, one's mind, understandably, turns to Wembley plc where boardroom murmurs of discontent will no doubt have been picked up, despite the roars of Cup Final crowds outside. Chairman Sir Brian Wolfson is under pressure from former directors who are worried about collapsed profits and indebtedness and anxious to bring about an investors' revolt.

Sir Brian has been criticised for his appetite for deals but this still seems undiminished. While the domestic market seems discontented, the East appears to relish the Wembley expertise. The company's first eastern operation two years ago was to manage Juliana's disco on the Tokyo waterfront - which, with 16,000 patrons a week, now claims to be the largest disco in the world.

Wembley has won the design contract for the Osaka Dome stadium, with a 50,000 capacity. It will open in 1997 and feature baseball, pop concerts and exhibitions. It has also won a contract to run a 50,000-capacity, £100-million stadium in Hong Kong with a 10-year-contract. And it is currently working on another contract - an 80,000-capacity stadium in Kuala Lumpur for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia.

Sir Brian's confidence even extends to the next millennium. South Africa is hoping to stage the Olympics in 2004. It too will need a big stadium. Wembley plc is, of course, a bidder.

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