Liverpool to Stick with Stanley Park Stadium Plans

January 18, 2012

Liverpool Football Club have taken the decision to stay with its original Stanley Park stadium plan over a futuristic design redeveloping Anfield proposed by former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr., according to The Telegraph.

The new owners, Fenway Sports Group, have been working with an architect firm to design a stadium in Stanley Park, which was the intention dating as far back as 2000. Those plans were abandoned for a futuristic-looking stadium when Hicks and Gillett took over the team in 2006, but the former owners could not adequately finance the project.

Fenway Sports Group decided to move forward with the move to Stanley Park after a year of unsuccessfully trying to redevelop the team’s current home, Anfield.

The plan to move to Stanley Park still needs its own financing to proceed, but now that the course of action has been officially decided, there will be less obstacles, according to The Telegraph.

In August last year, housing minister Grant Shapps sparked a row by writing to the club, urging it to make a decision on whether to begin work on expanding and redeveloping the existing stadium on Anfield Road or to build a new one in Stanley Park.

He said: “In the interests of the wider community, the club needs to make a swift decision on whether they plan to build a new stadium or stay where they are – either way the residents around Anfield need to know.

“The delay is causing unnecessary uncertainty for the community. Local residents are living in limbo.”

But the club’s managing director Ian Ayre criticised Shapps for not understanding the complexity of the decision-making process.

He said: “It is extremely disappointing that Mr Shapps should publicly point the finger at Liverpool FC and claim that they alone are delaying the regeneration of the local area, when he is fully aware of the impact of central government cutbacks on the whole city.

“In particular, the demise of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative seven years into a 15 year programme in Anfield has created huge uncertainty for the local community which dwarfs the effect any delay on a stadium has had.”

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