Plans to redevelop EPL Liverpool's Anfield football grounds are "poised to take a step forward as councillors are set to agree to the compulsory purchase of properties," according to Steve Graves of the LIVERPOOL ECHO. The £260M ($420M) Anfield Project "relies on nearly 700 houses being demolished." While many "have been bought up over the years to allow work to go ahead around 30 remain outside the developers’ control." Next Friday, members of Liverpool council’s cabinet "will be asked to approve, in principle, the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) to smooth the scheme’s path" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 10/17). In London, Ian Herbert reported private land owners are "expected to learn" that the houses they refuse to sell "can be compulsorily purchased within three months." The owners of six properties, four of which are derelict, "continue to hold out for the best price available, as Liverpool City Council seeks to buy them, undertake a wholesale demolition and clear the way for the enlarged stadium." Plans also called for creation of an adjacent ''96th Avenue,'' in memory of "those who lost their lives at Hillsborough" (INDEPENDENT, 10/17). In London, Chris Bascombe reported Liverpool "may have to wait a further two years" before they can submit Anfield redevelopment plans "unless agreement is swiftly reached." If CPOs are required, "it could take another 18 months to acquire the houses." Even then, Liverpool "would need time to acquire permission from city planners to expand and then at least another two years to complete the building work." A CPO has "always been considered a last resort with the three parties and would lead to an infuriating delay for the club and city council." There "remains optimism this route will not be required," but the CPO proposal to be put before councillors on Oct. 27 -- and to be decided early next year -- "underlines growing concern about removing the final obstacles" (TELEGRAPH, 10/16).
MALPRACTICE CLAIMS: In Liverpool, Alan Weston reported chauffeur Dave Sloan is "seeking recompense for losing his job by bringing a case of constructive dismissal against his former employers." The ex-policeman claims that he "was victimised after he blew the whistle over alleged malpractice at the club involving a senior official." Liverpool "is contesting the claim." His allegations centered "mainly on ticket touting, in which complementary tickets originally intended for circulation within the club were sold on at a profit" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 10/16).