Shirt deal could revive Liverpool stadium plan
LIVERPOOL (AFP) - Liverpool's lucrative new shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered back could help revive the club's currently-shelved plans for a new 60,000-seat stadium, according to managing director Christian Purslow. Under a deal announced on Monday and thought to be worth 80 million pounds, Standard Chartered will become the club's main sponsor for four years from July 2010 and the bank's name will appear on the shirts worn by Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and co. Plans for the new stadium, which would significantly enhance Liverpool's ability to generate revenue on match days, have been put on hold because of the financial pressures faced by the club's American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Purslow said: "The overall financial health of our football club is a key ingredient of being able to get the stadium project back up and running. "This is a huge step forward for the club financially and that can only be helpful to create the conditions in which we can restart the stadium." Purslow said the deal with Standard Chartered was a perfect fit with the bank's geographic spread mirroring Liverpool's global appeal. "They operate in a number of markets around the world where we have a vast and growing fanbase," he said. "They have 1,400 branches in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, 14 million customers and over 70,000 employees. These branches will effectively be a shop window for Liverpool football club around the world. "On the park, it is clear that we want to be the most successful football club in the world. To do that I believe that there is a pretty important link to how we perform off the park."
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