Hicks eases stadium fears

17 September 2009 09:34
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks insists the club's hierarchy have not performed a U-turn over plans to construct a new stadium in Stanley Park.[LNB] Reds managing director Christian Purslow announced at the start of September that the Premier League club had put the reported £490million project on hold.[LNB]The worldwide recession was cited as a reason for the delay in replacing Anfield, and there was speculation that Liverpool were considering abandoning planning permission documents which had already been obtained.[LNB]But Hicks, who co-owns the Reds with George Gillett, maintains that a new stadium will be built when the credit crunch reaches a conclusion. [LNB]"When we get to the point where the global market settles down and we bring pieces together to finance the stadium (then we can again start building)," he said. [LNB]"It's certainly not anything we have changed our mind on. I don't know about the dates because of the global financial markets, but I know the markets will settle down and get better.[LNB]"I'm an optimist. I've been through lots of cycles, although none as severe as this in my lifetime. It's a dynamic world."[LNB]Big opportunityHe continued: "We have spent a lot of money and we have a fully designed stadium. We have every permit in place, all the city councils' approvals, the judicial reviews on a national basis - everything is done. [LNB]"That's a great asset to have just to wait for the markets to open up and be able to do anything. Certainly it will happen."[LNB]Hicks also believes that, alongside a recently-agreed sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered bank, a new stadium will help Liverpool compete against Manchester United.[LNB]"We think that the stadium is one of the biggest opportunities for Liverpool to be truly one of the top clubs in the world," he said. [LNB]"Liverpool was a famous club around many parts of the world before Manchester United became strong in the last 20 years, and that's a heritage we want to build on and try to get to be as strong as possible. The club's in the best shape in many, many years.[LNB]"Rafa (Benitez) has put together an outstanding group of players over the last two or three years. We can always have more, but I think we're doing very well and I think we will have great success on the pitch this year. [LNB]"Transactions like this week's new sponsorship agreement can only help to give us the resources to compete right there with the other big guys in the world."[LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports