HC Deb 28 April 1999 vol 330 cc139-40W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what meetings the Minister for Sport has had since May 1997 with officials of Chelsea Football Club in his official capacity; and if he will list them. [81802]

Mr. Banks

As Minister for Sport, I have attended a number of events where Chelsea officials were present, and I have met officials from the club on the following occasions. 8 July 1997: Meeting with David Blunkett to discuss a Study Centre linked to the Premier League (also in attendance was the President of Brazil and the then Brazilian Sports Minister, Pele). Representatives from many of the Premiership Clubs were in attendance, including Ken Bates, Chairman of Chelsea Football Club. 8 September 1997: Meeting with Steve Keen, Lee Deegan, Leslie Smith and Colin Moore to discuss Chelsea Disabled Football Club.

I have very good relations with Mr. Bates and frequent discussions with him. In his role as an FA representative, he was involved in the discussions this Department had about the development of Wembley Stadium.

As part of the FA's Campaign to secure the 2006 World Cup, I have met with a number of FIFA Executive Committee members in this country and have accompanied some of them to Chelsea Football Club to tour the ground and view the impressive facilities there and at Chelsea Village.

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