TO SAY Cleveland Bridge and Multiplex don't get on is a bit like suggesting Hitler and Stalin had a minor falling out.
The pair were at the centre of a spectacular row over the summer when Cleveland was kicked off its £60 million steelwork contract at Wembley stadium.The whole thing is now in the High Court with the combined amount the pair are fighting over close to £45 million.
The animosity between the two protagonists is rare to see even in an industry riddled with legal fights. Right now it's difficult to see any solution being brokered apart from the one a judge will eventually have to make.No one, it seems, is blinking, or about to.
Already, unlike most recent sporting battles involving the English and the Aussies, it's 3-0 to the Poms - Cleveland last month secured a hat trick of adjudications netting the Darlington firm more than £5 million.
But in cricketing parlance these wins are merely the onedayers to the proper Ashes scrap of a test match.Next year's England-Australia battle is not simply about Flintoff, Warne and co.
In the meantime, Multiplex has just over a year to complete the stadium by the deadline it has promised - January 2006.
Some are pooh-pooing its chances and claiming the project is miles behind schedule.
Multiplex says it will open the stadium when promised.
Only time will tell.