Liverpool likely to leave Anfield

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Updated: July 11, 2011

Liverpool’s plans to redevelop Anfield have met with complications, with managing director Ian Ayre admitting a refurbishment of the 119 year old stadium was “increasingly unlikely”.

Owner John Henry has already announced last week that “obstacles” were making a redevelopment of Anfield difficult.

Ayre said expanding Anfield to a 60,000 seat capacity would be cheaper than building a new stadium from scratch, but bureaucratic problems are standing in Liverpool’s way.

On Liverpool’s official site, Ayre’s said: “In the nine months since the new ownership, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken in conjunction with leading architects, consultants, other industry experts and with Liverpool City Council to explore the building of a new stadium as well as exploring a refurbishment solution that could deliver the necessary growth in capacity, whilst maintaining the heritage and atmosphere that make Anfield uniquely Liverpool FC.

“However, with land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues creating barriers to our ambition, it looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield unless there are significant changes in those areas.”

Liverpool still have the option of taking up a 999 year least on the Stanley Park site. Ayre added: “In terms of a Stanley Park stadium versus redevelopment, there is absolutely no question that a refurbishment of Anfield would come at a significantly lower cost than a new build.

“A new stadium of course also has its merits, being modern, more functional, and easier to construct.

“However, a new 60,000-capacity ground also comes at a significantly higher price, while at the same time only delivering roughly the same amount of revenue as a refurbishment of Anfield – with both options offering an uplift of approximately 16,000 seats each.”

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