Stadium boost for Liverpool as American owners settle on nine-year-old stadium plan
Liverpool's long-running stadium saga has been given a boost with the club deciding to return to the original plan first drawn up nine years ago.
The Anfield outfit need to relocate in order to increase their gate, and therefore the income, or risk being left behind by the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United whose own stadiums hold 15,000 and 30,000 more fans respectively.
Ditched: The futuristic stadium plan submitted by the former owners have been scrapped by the current Liverpool board
The proposed 60,000-seat stadium, which
was first given the green light in 2004, a year after plans were
submitted, would cost around 300million and be situated on Stanley
Park, next door to their current home.
Construction remains some way off, with the finances yet to be secured, but the definitive move is most certainly a step in the right direction.
Progress of this kind means the futuristic designs proposed by former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jnr have been discarded for good.
Pure delight: Liverpool fans have endured more than a decade of indecision over a new stadium on Stanley Park
Current owners Fenway Sports Group have
worked closely with Manchester-based architects AFL – who were
responsible for recent upgrades at Old Trafford and the Nou Camp, as
well as the creation of Liverpool, United, Chelsea and Everton's
training facilities – and will not require fresh planning permission.
John W Henry had hoped to redevelop Anfield after he took over from the deeply unpopular Hicks and Gillett, but the cost of buying nearby residential properties, among other things, meant this was not feasible.
Liverpool need to raise around 150m in sponsorship — around half the proposed costs – before they can start building.