Stadium update and City stories from the papers

Last updated : 30 January 2004 By Michael Morris

CARDIFF City will have a stadium to rival Old Trafford or Real Madrid's Bernabeu in a decade's time.

That's the time the Bluebirds' forecast it will take to complete the development of the new Leckwith soccer complex from 30,000 to 60,000 seats.

Four phases of stadium development are proposed after the initial scheme, with the final 6,000 seats, costing £9m, earmarked for the 2014-15 season.

The overall cost of expansion to maximum capacity is put at £44m, according to details obtained by the Echo.

We can also reveal today full details of what Bluebirds' owner Sam Hammam will have to fund as part of the 69-acre land deal with Cardiff council.

This involves a £21m package of community benefits and improvements which will flow as a result of the development of the stadium.
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WALES duo Robert Earnshaw and Danny Gabbidon have been told they are not ready to make the step up to the Premiership - by their own manager.

Gabbidon and Earnshaw - linked to a £5m move to Fulham earlier this month - have been widely tipped to make the jump up to top-flight football sooner rather than later.

Among them are Peterborough boss Barry Fry, who told The Western Mail earlier this week he thought the Cardiff City pair even had the talent to succeed with one of the Premier League giants such as Manchester United or Arsenal.

But, with the January transfer window closing soon, Bluebirds boss Lennie Lawrence said he was not surprised there had been no bids for either of his prize assets.

"Some people don't believe me, but I honestly wasn't expecting any offers to come in," said Lawrence.
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NORMAL service has been resumed at Ninian Park as Cardiff City prepare to meet fallen European champions Nottingham Forest tomorrow (3pm).

Forest have hit the deck hard, finding themselves third from bottom of Division One without a win or a goal in their last six games, and City are expected to take all three points.

It's a far cry from just three weeks back when the vitriol was aimed squarely at Lennie Lawrence and his players, but the manager bristled at the suggestion that the two clubs' situations were anything close to similar.

"I wasn't in anything like Forest's situation and the two things are totally irrelevant to one another," said Lawrence. "I lost a few games which took me to the absolute depths of the first division, when this club hasn't been there for 30 years.
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CARDIFF City's next five games are ones that could define their season - and that's a fact not lost on Peter Thorne.

The Bluebirds face strugglers Nottingham Forest and Derby County in their next two games before a hat-trick of massive games against West Brom (a), Sunderland (h) and West Ham (a).

By the end of February, City could know exactly what group of teams they will finish in come May, the play-off pack or the mid-table misses.

That's why Thorne will do his best to take full advantage of any nervous Nottingham Forest defending tomorrow and also because he knows he won't often get the chance to do it.
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WELSH international Gareth Taylor is ready to take out his Forest frustration on the Bluebirds at Ninian Park tomorrow.

Taylor reckons he is 'going nuts' over his lack of goals and is warning Cardiff City central defenders Tony Vidmar and Danny Gabbidon: "We're out to get you."

Former Crystal Palace striker Taylor has managed only two goals in 23 appearances since his £500,000 move from Burnley to Nottingham - and Forest have scored only once in their last seven matches.

That was a penalty converted by Taylor's attack partner Marlon King, a £950,000 signing from Gillingham, in their FA Cup win over West Brom.
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