Wembley To Welcome Champions League Final?

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 129 months ago
Wembley To Welcome Champions League Final?
Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium is a modern marvel - Conde Nast in particular were mightily impressed by it - and it is surely one of the finest footballing cathedrals in the world today. So how come it hasn't yet been given the glad-eye from UEFA when they choose the venue for the Champions League final?

Turns out that a somewhat arcane tax law has thus far presented Wembley being considered. Our government currently taxes overseas players on earnings and bonuses if they are awarded for UK-based events, meaning that visiting players would have to forfeit part of their wages. As Ashley Cole proved, footballers are rather attached to their gargantuan earnings, and the rule prompted UEFA to give the 2010 final to Madrid's Bernabeu.

However, Labour has decided to relax the contentious law, and it now appears the stadium is a strong contender for 2011. According to a leading sports business boffin, it could bring in £30 million to the economy, as well as providing a handy pre-Olympics test run of our ability to host a major international sporting event.

While we may admire the new Wembley's gleaming arch, it hasn't quite passed into London's folklore the way that the twin white towers of the old stadium did. If you were wondering what became of the towers - and Londonist suspected they ended up in the private grounds of an international playboy in Dubai - the unlikely truth is that they have been recycled as hills.

Some eight years ago, architect Peter Fink - noting that the Wembley project would produce a huge amount of potential landfill - devised a more environmentally friendly solution that used "spoil" from the site to create a hill-filled park in Northolt. By hauling the debris a mere 10 miles, the carbon footprint of the projects was considerably reduced, and a new green space created. Northala Park is now open to the public, ready for the Gerrards and Rooneys of the future to kick a ball about on the sacred ground that houses the remains of the revered Wembley towers.

Image courtesy of uomodiatlantide's Flickrstream via the Creative Commons Attribution license

Last Updated 13 May 2008