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Molineux out of Euros 2028 running

Molineux is no longer in the running to be part of a UK and Ireland Euro 2028 bid.

England fans arrive ahead of the UEFA Nations League match at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Tuesday June 14, 2022..
England fans arrive ahead of the UEFA Nations League match at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Tuesday June 14, 2022..

Wolves and the city council had met with organisers and explored the possibility of putting the stadium forward as a host venue. But it is understood no formal submission was made and Molineux is not one of 10 English grounds still vying to be part of a bid.

Villa Park is on a list which will be cut further next month when organisers submit an initial plan to Uefa.

Just five English grounds, with Wembley guaranteed to be one, are certain to make the final selection next April, though the situation is fluid with Uefa considering expanding the tournament from 24 to 32 teams.

In addition to Wembley, the bid will feature up to six grounds in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with the rest selected from four English regions.

With Leicester’s King Power Stadium also out of contention, Villa Park would now appear favourite to be the chosen as the Midlands’ venue.

The desire to be part of a successful Euro 2028 bid was a motivating factor in the club’s decision to push ahead with rebuilding the North Stand, a development which will take the stadium’s capacity beyond 50,000. A formal planning application was recently submitted, with Villa hoping the work will be completed in late 2024.

Wolves also intend to redevelop the Steve Bull Stand at Molineux, though no timescale has yet been determined.

The ground hosted the England men’s senior team for the first time in 66 years in the summer, with general manager Russell Jones revealing the club and council had met with Euro 2028 bid organisers. But the initial interest was not followed up.

Southampton, Brighton and Nottingham Forest are also no longer in the running, with The Telegraph yesterday reporting the high costs involved as high among the reasons for several venues opting out.

Uefa’s Host City Agreement requires providing the governing body and its commercial partners with services including electricity, water and waste management free of charge, with local authorities paying between a quarter and half of the total bill for staging matches.

The final bid must be submitted by April 12 next year, with a decision on the hosts expected 12 months from now. Turkey and Russia have also stated their intention to bid.

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