Liverpool confirm plans to remain at Anfield
Liverpool have confirmed their intention to stay at Anfield, scrapping plans for a brand new stadium.
Last Updated: 15/10/12 3:32pm
Liverpool City Council have announced plans for a regeneration of the Anfield area after securing a £25m grant, with a housing association also set to invest.
But the idea of a new home in Stanley Park, which was previously considered, cannot be ruled out until plans to carry out the redevelopment of the club's home are approved.
"Today represents a huge step forward for the Anfield area. Everyone at the football club knows the importance of today," said managing director Ian Ayre.
"We welcome the opportunity to be part of this partnership - we want to thank Joe Anderson (Mayor of Liverpool) and the council for the time and the support they've given us to help make the right decision.
"LFC celebrated its 120th year in 2012 at Anfield and there is no doubt Anfield is the spiritual home of the club - our preference was always to remain at Anfield.
"This is a major step forward for the football club but more importantly the residents. 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."
Redevelopment is set to include extensions of the main stand and the Anfield Road end, made possible by plans to clear some streets close to the ground and the support of homeowners and the community.
One of the main reasons a new stadium did not fit the bill was the financial aspect. The club would have spent upwards of £300million and yet increased match-day capacity by only around 15,000.
Ayre always maintained that - even with a naming rights deal which the club explored - did not make good financial sense and that is why they always leaned towards a redevelopment of Anfield.
FSG have a history of updating historic old stadiums as they did a similar thing at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and they will now look to do the same on Merseyside.
"Over the last two years one of the things that we've had to do and was important to do was analyse the detail of what works, what doesn't work, what the economical situation is for either solution," Ayre told liverpoolfc.com.
"If you build a new stadium, for example, one of the big challenges is that you don't get 60,000 new seats in a new stadium, you only get the difference (with the existing capacity).
"That makes it very difficult to make it viable because the cost of building such a big new stadium doesn't work economically, particularly in this market.
"So one of the things we had to look at was the balance between that solution and a staying-at-Anfield-type solution.
"The work we've done on that showed us that as long as we could find the right solution to stay at Anfield, and get through the barriers and hurdles that we needed, we would have to find the best long-term solution for the club that had sustainability and worked economically."