Provisional Urban Council terminates Wembley's Management Agreement for the Hong Kong Stadium


The Provisional Urban Council (PUC) today (Tuesday) decided to terminate with immediate effect, the Management Agreement (MA) with Wembley International (Hong Kong) Ltd. (Wembley) for the management of the Hong Kong Stadium.

Announcing this today, a spokesman for PUC stressed that the decision was made as a result of a review of Wembley's performance since the opening date of the Stadium. The decision was made in the public interest because Wembley had been in serious and/or persistent breach of its obligations to manage the Stadium under the provisions of the MA signed in March 1993.

The PUC has decided to lodge claims in the High Court for damages against Wembley for breaches of its obligations under the MA. "We therefore do not wish, at this stage, to comment on particulars of the breaches," the spokesman said.

The PUC has asked the Urban Services Department (USD) to assume temporary management of the Hong Kong Stadium and has agreed to a plan for the staffing and management structure of the Stadium for the near future.

Whilst noting that it is Wembley's contractual responsibility to make the necessary arrangements for staff after the termination of MA, the spokesman said that the Council and USD would consider the situation of Wembley's staff sympathetically and would conduct interviews with all staff who wish to stay on. The intention is to re-employ as far as possible under civil service rules, existing operational staff, subject to the necessary checking and verification of their particulars. If re-employed, they will be retained on a temporary basis, pending the outcome of the review for the future operation.

USD will brief Wembley's staff today to explain the Council's decision and request their cooperation in the hand-over.

The PUC has also agreed to USD's proposals to returf the entire pitch of the Hong Kong Stadium. Returfing the pitch with Bermuda grass will start in early June.

"The estimated cost of the returfing work would be around HK$1.7 million. It would take about 5 weeks to complete all major works and another 12 weeks to allow the new turf to get established. Our target is to re-open the Stadium for public use by end September 1998," the spokesman said.

Hirers are assured that the change of management will not in any way affect the staging of events. The Department is contacting the executive suite holders to explain the change of management and collect feedback from them.

End/Tuesday, May 26, 1998