Liverpool - Liverpool on Monday looked set to stay at Anfield instead of moving
to a new ground, after city authorities announced plans to regenerate
the area around their historic Anfield home.
Council said they had secured a 25-million-pound ($40 million,
31-million-euro) grant to transform the Anfield area in the city in
northwest England, with further investment likely from a public housing
The club's managing director Ian Ayre described the
move as a "major step forward" for both Liverpool and local residents,
after years of wrangling about whether they should move from the stadium
that has been their home since 1892.
"This is step one as there
is land to acquire, plans to be approved, etc. but this is a significant
moment. Questions about capacity and cost are not for today, not until
we have certainty," he told a news conference in the city.
of Anfield is likely to see improvements and extensions made to the
main stand and the Anfield Road end, as the regeneration plans include
proposals to clear a number of streets near the ground in agreement with
Planning permission, though, is still required,
which means that a move to a new home in nearby Stanley Park still can
not be entirely ruled out.
English Premier League side Liverpool
are owned by US firm the Fenway Sports Group, which has previously
re-developed existing old stadiums, including the home of the Boston Red
Sox baseball team, Fenway Park.
Ayre said in a separate interview
on liverpoolfc.com that discussions about a possible move over the last
two years had centred on the financial sense of building a new ground.
an outlay of more than 300 million pounds, capacity would only increase
by about 15 000 from the existing 45 000 at Anfield, which Ayre said
"makes it very difficult to make it viable" economically.
There was also the emotional factor to take into account, he added.
had some of the greatest triumphs in our history here, so it makes
sense if there's a right solution that this is the place we should
continue to play our football," he added.
The latest proposals
showed for the first time that there was an increasing consensus about
re-development, "not for the needs of the football club but actually the
needs of the community".