Another legal challenge for Lancashire
Just when it appeared that Lancashire had cleared the final hurdle in the legal battle to develop Old Trafford another potentially serious obstacle has been put in their way with Derwent Holdings, the rival development company, going to the Court of Appeal which raises further doubts over the club's international future.
Earlier this month the High Court ruled in Lancashire's favour over their joint plans with Ask Developments to renovate Old Trafford along with the Stretford area. Derwent Holdings were told they had no grounds of appeal over the decisions but are taking the legal battle further.
The long court cases have already put serious pressure on the timescale to have the work completed at Old Trafford in time for the 2013 Ashes series and further delays could scupper the plans altogether.
"Despite being defeated emphatically in the High Court, and being refused leave to appeal by the High Court judge only last week, Derwent has announced its intent to try and over-turn the High Court judgment at the Court of Appeal in London," Jim Cumbes, the Lancashire chief executive, said.
"Derwent have made so many attempts to derail our project and have been thwarted convincingly at every stage. We remain totally confident that, although they will attempt absolutely everything due to seemingly unlimited financial resources, we shall succeed eventually.
"We promised that we will secure a new international cricket ground and bring huge benefits to both the local and regional community and economy. We've been supported on our long journey by Trafford Council, by councils across Greater Manchester and by the wider business community."
Alan Burke, from Ask Developments, admitted time was getting tight to have the ground finished so it could host an Ashes Test if Lancashire successfully bid for one. "It is the further delays that this latest threat poses to our ability to get on site and successfully bid for the 2013 Ashes that remains our constant worry," he said.