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Club issue statement on stadium
Published : 10 Jul 2011 17:35:54
Liverpool FC have issued a statement on the future of Anfield and the possibility of a new stadium. "In the nine months since the new ownership, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken in conjunction with leading architects, consultants, other industry experts and with Liverpool City Council to explore the building of a new stadium as well as exploring a refurbishment solution that could deliver the necessary growth in capacity, whilst maintaining the heritage and atmosphere that make Anfield uniquely Liverpool FC. However, with land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues creating barriers to our ambition, it looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield unless there are significant changes in those areas," said Managing Director Ian Ayre. "In terms of a Stanley Park stadium versus redevelopment, there is absolutely no question that a refurbishment of Anfield would come at a significantly lower cost than a new build. A new stadium of course also has its merits, being modern, more functional, and easier to construct. However, a new 60,000 capacity ground also comes at a significantly higher price, while at the same time only delivering roughly the same amount of revenue as a refurbishment of Anfield - with both options offering an uplift of approximately 16,000 seats each. "It's disappointing that based on where we are at the moment, we seem to be unable to press on with the more viable economic option of a refurbishment, but we remain committed to finding the best possible long-term solution. We already have a very healthy dialogue in place with several leading brands regarding naming rights for a new stadium, but like every major deal we have ever done, that just takes time to explore in full. We also have ongoing discussions with various parties around the financing of either facility. Our challenge now is to try to find a way to bring all of those elements together in a solution that is in the best interests of Liverpool Football Club and its fans. "We are mindful that supporters have been promised a solution in the past and have been disappointed, and also that local residents would like to know what direction we are headed in. However, just like any other business, we can only proceed as and when we are clear on all elements and we will not be forced to make a decision that is not in the best long-term interests of our club and we will not make any promises to our fans that we cannot keep. We will continue to work diligently on this project and keep our fans informed of any progress."