Stadium row may be settled out of court
Billy Wong Wai-Yuk
The row over the sacking of Hong Kong Stadium managers Wembley International may be settled out of court, the Urban Council chairman hinted yesterday.
Dr Ronald Leung Ding-bong suggested a settlement could be reached with the ousted managers and that the council might not proceed with legal action over Wembley's handling of its management contract.
Wembley was sacked for alleged serious and persistent breaches of its obligations. But Wembley said the allegations were unfair and it was considering taking legal action itself for breach of contract.
Dr Leung softened his stance after visiting the stadium yesterday and said: 'A lawsuit is not the only option. I would prefer to see it settled outside of court if it is possible.' Dr Leung, with Director of Urban Services Elaine Chung Lai-kwok and the Provisional Urban Council's stadium board of governors, yesterday inspected the stadium and met department staff temporarily managing the arena.
Documents and appliances owned by Wembley have been boxed and sealed until a decision on the stadium's new managers is made in September.
The board's chairman, Ambrose Cheung Wing-sum, described the takeover as smooth and successful. Referring to the state of the arena's turf, one of the key issues of dispute with Wembley, he said the public could expect to see a healthy pitch by September.
Returfing would start on Monday, he said.
Ms Chung said the Urban Services Department had received 20 submissions from former Wembley staff for temporary jobs between June and September.
She said she would consider retaining the Wembley staff for the future management body.