Daily Mail , Monday 8th Decmber 2003
Go Ahead Gunners
Arsenal Clinch Cash Deal At Last
Arsenal will give their fans the best possible christmas bonus this week, by declaring the go ahead for building to start on their new £400 million stadium at Ashburton Grove.
The project has been in cold storage for most of the year due to serious funding problems, but lead investor the Royal Bank of Scotland has now agreed details on the pivotal £260m loan as part of a six bank consortium.
Arsenal have also negotiated the other obstacale blocking progress, with the imminent announcement of the inquiry into their request for compulsory purchase orders on the five small manufacturing buissness still remaining on the site.
This will be granted to finally allow the builders to start their construction work early in the new year, with a fixed-price contract already in place with the McAlpine Group. The 60,000-capacity stadium with a turnover enabling Arsenal to compete on level terms with great rivals Manchester United, is due to open for the start of the 2006/2007 season - shortly after the new Wembley.
The green light for the new stadium is a personal triumph for Arsenal's major shareholder Danny Fszman, who has been overseeing the ground move for over four years.
He has kept faith in the highly complex property initiative when other board members preferred the option of being tennants at the new Wembley, which seemed to make more fianancial sense given the complexities of Ashburton Grove.
Now the extra income generated from Arsenal's dedicated new stadium is also likely to guarentee Manager Arsène Wenger's future at the club, as well as star players such as Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.
Another big bonus of moving will be the influx of £30 million from Granada as part of the media rights deal signed in september 2000. The TV network took a five percent share in the club with the promise of a further 4.9% shareholding when all the Grove funding had been signed off.
I had to type all that out so be appreciative
BEST. NEWS. EVER.