Friday 23 March 2018

Anfield's grounds for concern over 60,000-seater rebuild

Carl Markham

A solution to Liverpool's stadium options appears to be some way off after managing director Ian Ayre admitted that building a new ground would produce "very little financial gain."

However, with the city council pointing out that planning regulations make developing Anfield very difficult -- any potential work could well take three years to even begin -- there is little likelihood of a swift, straightforward conclusion.

The preferred option is to rebuild the Main Stand and the Anfield Road end. But the proximity of housing makes this problematic.

A new stadium at Stanley Park would cost upwards of £300m, which is why the club are searching for a naming-rights partner, but it would only increase capacity by around 15,000 -- similar to what the Anfield plan would do.

Ayre admits it is a thorny problem which could take some solving.

"Refurbishment could deliver a 60,000-plus seater, but it comes with a lot of other challenges," he said.

"The economics of that difference (15,000 extra seats) don't really stack up in the medium term for a return for Liverpool. It would be a huge investment with very little financial gain."

City council leader Joe Anderson explained the difficulties facing the refurbishment, saying: "You can't build something right next to someone's house that blocks daylight -- whether Liverpool FC like it or not."

Irish Independent

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