In 2019 Valencia CF will celebrate 100 years in operation. It will also be 10 years since the construction site of Nou Mestalla would be abandoned…
The fate of unfinished stadium at Av. de les Corts Valencianes remains unclear after yesterday’s general assembly. Valencia CF chairman Layhoon Chan confirmed that the project won’t be ready by 2019. This also means the club’s centenary (March 2019) would be celebrated at the old Mestalla, contrary to what was previously planned after the club’s takeover in 2014.
The chairman listed a number of reasons for the delay. After Peter Lim took ownership of the club, continuing the project was one of his priorities. Yet majority of the reasons given yesterday were those known way back in 2013, when Lim wasn’t even involved.
Among these “old arguments” was the fact that in 2007 Valencia CF didn’t have neither the necessary funds, nor property of land they were building on. Additionally, any sale of the old Mestalla is unrealistic now, because the real estate market is yet to fully recover after economic turmoil of recent years. Finally, Valencia is in dispute with the European Union over €23.4 million the club is demanded to pay.
But shareholders weren’t satisfied with such explanation, because all of these issues have been clear for a long time and yet Valencia were expected to pursue the stadium plan. No wonder that Layhoon Chan was asked about details of the new plan to put New Mestalla into operation.
So far the club only managed to secure land rights for the stadium, but there is no current concept of the stadium. Mark Fenwick, who delivered “plan B” economic design in 2013 (reducing planned expenditure from €244 million to €100m), was sacked as the stadium’s architect last year and a new vision is yet to be revealed.
Yesterday the chairman only confirmed that a new design will be published within the next 6-9 months. It’s expected to slightly more expensive than Fenwick’s alternative scheme (around €120-130 million).
As a reminder from this stadium saga, construction of the new stadium began in 2006 in northern Valencia and was expected to finish in 2009. However, by then only the raw concrete seating bowl was delivered and no further stages followed since. The current plan will be the third attempt at building the stadium.