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Wembley Stadium bidding mystery

CONTRACTORS bidding to rebuild Wembley Stadium are baffled by the stadium owner's decision to re-open the contest to four bidders after it had whittled the short list down to two.

Wembley National Stadium had previously indicated that a Sir Robert McAlpine/Taylor Woodrow joint venture would bid head-to-head against a pairing of Bovis/Multiplex, which has emerged as favourite to snatch the prestige£475 million redevelopment.

But the stadium owner has thrown the competition open again and is reconsidering bids by HBG and French contractor Bouygues, which built the Stade de France in Paris.

The turnaround comes after the Minister for Sport, Kate Hoey, ordered Wembley to see if it could increase the capacity from the proposed 67,500 to 80,000 to meet the criteria for any future Olympic bid.

One bidder said: 'It is a very confusing time for us and there are a lot of things that we need clarification on. It's not quite clear what is going on.'

Wembley is due to submit a detailed planning application to Brent council on Monday, a month later than scheduled.