Arsenal lose High Court battle over concert limit

  • 30 July 2014
  • From the section London
Arsenal's Emirates stadium
Image caption Arsenal said the club needed the money from concerts to perform in the competitive world of football

Arsenal Football Club have lost a High Court challenge over the number of concerts that they can hold at Emirates Stadium.

The Premier League side had applied to double the number of music concerts held at the stadium in Holloway, north London, from three to six.

Arsenal argued that a "clear error" had been made in the decision process.

The case was rejected by Mr Justice Cranston, who ruled there had been no error of law.

'Competitive world'

Islington rejected the initial application and a planning inspector dismissed the club's appeal in January.

Opponents of the plan had expressed concerns over noise and rowdy fans.

Concerts featuring Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Muse have been held at the stadium for the last six years.

During the public inquiry run by the planning inspector, Arsenal chief executive director Ken Friar said the club needed the money from the gigs to perform in the extremely competitive world of football, citing Manchester United's profits at £100 million compared with Arsenal's £20 million.

Image caption Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Muse have performed at the stadium

The inspector said the club could not plead poverty if it could afford to buy a player like German midfielder Mesut Ozil for £43 million from Real Madrid last summer.

At a recent hearing Dan Kolinsky, representing the club, told Mr Justice Cranston the planning inspector's decision was legally flawed and should not be allowed to stand.

In the application for a judicial review, Mr Kolinksy said the inspector had failed to apply the law correctly when he decided the proposal to double the number of concerts "did not accord with the development plan" for the stadium.

Lawyers for the planning inspector and Islington argued that the inspector followed the correct approach and there was no substance in the club's challenge.

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