Liverpool City Council Set To Give Green Light On Anfield Renovation
Liverpool's City Council is "expected to pave the way" for the redevelopment of Anfield when it announces regeneration plans for the area on Monday, according to Gregg Bakowski of the London GUARDIAN. Club Owner John Henry has always preferred the option of staying at Anfield, the club's home since 1892. A council decision to allow a compulsory purchase order consultations on houses near the stadium "would allow for work to begin as soon as '14." Henry has "always preferred the option of redeveloping Anfield," but the delay in making a decision has "led to increasing dismay among local residents who have already seen regeneration work held up by failed plans for a new stadium under the club's previous owners" (GUARDIAN, 10/14). The BBC's Ben Smith noted that "it remains unclear how far its current capacity of 45,276 would increase and how many houses would be affected" by any compulsory purchase orders. There has been no official comment from the club or the local authority, and "the exact cost of the redevelopment is unknown." Liverpool has "looked into adding an extra tier to the stadium, including more corporate facilities for the Anfield Road and main stands" (BBC, 10/13).
MAKE IT HAPPEN: In London, Tony Barrett reported Fenway Sports Group believes the capacity of Liverpool’s spiritual home "can be increased from 45,000 to 60,000 by undertaking a phased redevelopment of the Main Stand and Anfield Road Stand at a cost of around £150 million." FSG had complained that the council has "been unwilling to facilitate its vision, but such claims can no longer be made and the dynamic has shifted" to the point that it is now up to "Liverpool’s owner to turn its Anfield blueprint into a reality." The biggest obstacle involves "convincing local residents to sell their homes." Club officials have closed deals with some householders in the area behind the main stands, but others are refusing to sell, "a problem that could be resolved if the council decides to apply for compulsory purchase orders" (LONDON TIMES, 10/15).