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Arsenal football club launch High Court battle over concert limitations

Premier League football club Arsenal have launched a High Court legal case to challenge a decision by Islington Council to limit the number of concerts that can be held at their Emirates Stadium, reports the Daily Mail.

The Islington-based club moved into their new Emirates Stadium home at Ashburton Grove back in 2006, a move that cost the club £470m. The stadium seats 60,361, making it the third largest football stadium in England.

The cost of the stadium proved difficult for the club to meet, and so part of the plan to finance the build included proposals to use the stadium during the non-footballing summer months to host music concerts.

The Emirates hosted Bruce Springsteen in 2008, Coldplay in 2012, and last summer hosted Muse and Green Day.

However, club proposals to extend the number of summer concerts from three to six were met by opposition from Islington Council who rejected the application on the basis of concerns over noise from rowdy music fans after events.

Arsenal appealed in January this year, but the appeal was rejected by a local planning inspector, who commented that if the club could afford the £42.5m they paid for German international midfielder Mesut Özil, they could afford not to extend the number of concerts at the stadium each summer.

The club has now appealed to the High Court for a judicial review of the council's decision, saying that the council and the planning inspector erred in the way they approached the decision not to allow the extension to the number of concerts.

"We say there is a clear error on the face of the decision letter," said Dan Kolinsky, a lawyer representing Arsenal Football Club.

Arsenal contend that the competitive world of football demands that the club maximizes revenue from the stadium, citing the example of Manchester United's recently posted £100m profit, compared to Arsenal's £20m profit.

The case continues.