02.25.06

O’Connell Gloats Over Wembley Delays

Posted in Football, Ugly New Stadiums at 2:17 am by

The new Wembley Stadium won’t be ready for May’s F.A. Cup final, meaning this will be yet another year in which the knockout tournament, as well as the Football League’s playoff finals, will be contested in Cardiff.

Bane of morning radio, the Guardian’s Christian O’Connell isn’t quite overcome with sorrow at this predictable result.

The government has come in for a lot of flak for originally refusing to bankroll the project and I sort of agree. Not because of the money but because it should have taken a leaf out of China’s Beijing 2008 little red book of tricks and allowed child labour on the site. They’re cheap, have no unions and, most crucially, have very small hands that would have been perfect for the more decorative work.

Part of the reason for delay must be because Wembley has not got a sponsor for the stadium. Any venue or stadium worth its salt these days has a sponsor. Take Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, Bolton’s Reebok and Wigan’s JJB Arena. A stadium’s name is a valuable commodity in the modern sporting world. I like the idea of a giant arch but would anyone really mind if it was called the McDonald’s National Stadium with a pair of golden arches that loomed 500 feet over north London? Maybe a major rail operator could come to the rescue. It would be a perfect fit for the two brands as both are always extremely late and full of drunken idiots on a match day.

Who cares when it’s finished anyway? I’m a Southampton fan – it’s not like I’m going to be anywhere near the place for a long while. So come May I’ll get my kicks by camping next to junction 30 of the M4 and watching smug Chelsea fans getting stuck in traffic.

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